TRICARE Troubles Looming

January 30, 2012 | Terry Howell

TRICARE Prime fee increases, limited access to military treatment facilities, and fewer civilian care providers are likely to be an issue in 2012 and beyond.   

TRICARE Prime Fees for Military Retirees — As reported last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave a sneak peak at the DoD’s proposed FY2013 budget and his long term plan to reduce defense spending by approximately $259 billion over the next five years.

According to the Military Officers Association of America, TRICARE working age military retirees will take a significant hit under the proposed defense budget.

MOAA reports that the proposed changes include tiered enrollment fees based on a  retiree’s rank. This means that senior grade retirees would pay more for their health care than junior retirees. MOAA points out that this “tiered approach would make military retirees the only group of government retirees subject to health care means-testing.”

BRAC Could Impact Access to Military Treatment Facilities  – The DoD’s budget proposal also asks Congress to make another round of Base Realignment and Closures in order to reduce excess infrastructure. MOAA warns retirees that more base closures would result in fewer Military Treatment Facilities and clinics, in addition to access to other valuable benefits.

Fewer Civilian TRICARE Providers – Many doctors who provide care for TRICARE beneficiaries (known as Primary Care Managers) already receive a payment rate that is significantly lower than the rate paid by civilian health care insurance companies.

To make things worse, these doctors are due to have their Medicare/TRICARE payment rates cut by 27 percent this year. As a result, many doctors have limited the number of TRICARE patients and/or refused to accept new TRICARE patients; effectively limiting patient access to TRICARE benefits.

Congress recently postponed the 27 percent reimbursement rate cut for two months. However, many fear that the short-term deal has only delayed the problem. As part of the deal to postpone the rate decrease, Congress agreed to establish a 20 member conference committee to work out a long-term extension.

According to MOAA, Congress has until February 29 to come up with an extension, but it “seems negotiations have a long way to go.” 

Let your elected officials know how you feel about these threats to your TRICARE benefits.

Comments

  1. milretdude1995 says:

    Click on the above blue link … "Let your elected officials know how you feel about these threats to your TRICARE benefits." If not now … WHEN? You may feel like your opinion does not matter but it does. You have a voice, you matter and if you remain silent you have no room to complain when your benefits are ripped out from under you. We can not stand by and not at least let our elected officials (including SECDEF Panetta) know of how we feel on this issue. I hope you will take action and not just regret passing up your opportunity to do something.

    • Loranda Spence says:

      What a shame. Is the big guys who are makingthese decessions going to take a pay cut. I wiuld doubt that many of them have ever been in the Armed Forces of America, never shourded a weapon. neverbeen side by side with a buddy who got shot up or was killed and now has to suffer the out come of blooming idiots who sit and make decessions not based on facts, but to make sure they get their raises for doing nothing for those who served and still serving today.

    • Well since our dear Uncle Sam wants to increase our benefits, let’s also include all of our elected officials who are getting free health care, passed and present ones. Why must we continue to pay the price alone? We have made sacrifices for a country without question, must we have to continue to bear the load. I think if they want to make a change to our health care, set a date and if you come in after you pay this amount and if you came in prior to this date you aren’t affected. I think it’s time to refer back to the saying” what’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander” it’s time to share the wealth with all!! Signed… A Navy Corpsman

      • Free healthcare for life for Congress is an Urban Myth, just like Full Retirement after one term, and saying that Congress does not participate in Social Security

        If you want to *****, go right ahead. Just be sure that what you say is true, or you lose all credibility

    • Well since our dear Uncle Sam wants to increase our benefits, let’s also include all of our elected officials who are getting free health care, passed and present ones. Why must we continue to pay the price alone? We have made sacrifices for a country without question, must we have to continue to bear the load. I think if they want to make a change to our health care, set a date and if you come in after you pay this amount and if you came in prior to this date you aren’t affected. I think it’s time to refer back to the saying” what’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander”

    • Then when you reach 65 the government makes you enroll in Medicare and Tricare For Life becomes your co-pay. Great deal, BUT they take $100. per month out of your social security.

    • Judy Ferguson Scofield says:

      This is sad,my first husband got killed in Vietnam and never saw his son. Then my husband now put 26 yrs. in the Navy and was in Nam and got hurt..These men and women fight for our FREEDOM and the families hurt also. The big folks wouldn’t have their great jobs if not for our military!!! Let them take all their goodies away …

  2. retired4good says:

    What does a "major hit" equal in dollars? please tell me.

    Milretdude is right. Please write to your senators etc.

  3. Rufus Massengill says:

    Mr. Panetta,
    I have a suggestion for you and President Obama to further cut DOD spending.
    Cancel all our veteran benefits. Put all of us veterans on food stamps, and man our military with the "Dirty Dozen."

    Sincerely,

    Rufus Massengill, TSgt, USAF, Retired

  4. DONALD HEAD says:

    CUT THE WELFARE SYSTEM AND OTHER SOCIAL PROGRAMS. AND MAYBE THINK A LITTLE ON THE AMOUNT WE ARE SPENDING TO REBUILD IRAQ, PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN

  5. This becoming a REAL TRAVESTY TO ALL GI's who sacreficed their lives and families to defend this great country of ours. I have written several time to our elected officials with no response. Most of us are just trying to survive with what we receive and they STILL want to send of over the edge.
    Msgt AirForce Retiree 27 yrs.

    • CharlesBryant says:

      Bob,

      Don't get me wrong, but to my knowledge military retirement pay was never meant to be a living wage, anymore than Social Security was/is.

      • Never said it was. However, we have been robbed of the majority of the benifits that we were promised as we signed away our lives for our country. You must not be prior military or you would know what I am referring too.

        • CharlesBryant says:

          Bob,

          28 March 1969 thru 27 March 1972 Active Duty

          27 March 1972 thru 1 March 1975 Inactive Reserves

          17 February 1976 thru 1 July 1995 Active Duty

          I was a Volunteer in 1969 and Voluntarily Reenlisted up until I retires a 1SG in 1995.

          So yes, I know exactly what you saying, but just don't agree. I feel I have it made in the shade compared to most.

          But, please go on about being robbed of the majority of benefits you were promised.

          • CB thats great I'm glad to see you served our great country and content with what you were told and what you receive and what you must pay for your benifits. I am proud to be an American that served my country and its ideals but at the same time I dispise anyone or entity that lies to me. I'm not alone. You might won't to look at David's post. Wish you the best Bob

          • I got drafted back in the day. When I got to the induction center I was sold on the benefits for enlistment of which one was free Medical for me and my eligible dependents for the rest of my life, if I stayed in until retirement. I lived to meet my end of the bargain, it is time that DOD lives up to it’s promises. I am still working as is my wife and have not had to rely on Tri Care nor have we used it in the past. I will eventually leave the work force (very near future) and will be relying on it. In the process of serving America I have lost a business and put my life on hold and neglected for a large time my family. I am looking forward to retirement but the economy is making it difficult to make ends meet, what I don’t need is the bull about benefits being cut. Get your head out your bottom. The politicians are not losing any of their benefits. The first benefit cuts that need to be made are those that have not severed in the service and are being supported by the tax payers (yes congress/politicians that means you). Let start to cut the White house staff including the secret service protecting the president and the retired politicians benefits. Get the inflated gas prices back below the dollar which will bring the cost of living back to normal and less operating cost for the DOD.

  6. Anytime the budget of the USA comes up, the military veterans are seen as the least likely to complain and are being marginalized constantly with “ticking time bomb” statements. NO other department of the government is talking about decreasing their retiree benefits in the same way the DOD is talking about doing. I say that AFTER the Congress reduces their retiree benefits in the same way they are talking about disabled and 20 yr. service retirees, then the discussion on reducing military benefits. AFTER they take the SAME REDUCTIONS of 27 percent decrease in payments for the doctors that treat FEDERAL RETIREES and their families, then they can reduce Tricare payments to doctors.

    • CharlesBryant says:

      Angie,

      "NO other department of the government is talking about decreasing their retiree benefits in the same way the DOD is talking about doing."

      Your wrong, Congress has had no pay raise since 2009 and the Civil Servants have had their pay frozen for years now. Every year this goes on that cuts into their retirement.

      Second of all, you can't compare Military Benefits (which we don't pay into at all) to the Federal Benefits (which they do pay into).

      • Also Congress is talking about increasing the amount new Federal Civil Service employees pay into their retirement (which, as you point out, they do and military doesn't). Note their proposal also increases the amount Congressmen pay into the retirement fund. To quote from the article:

        "Several freshmen Republican lawmakers have sponsored bills to limit the congressional pension plan.

        Restricting Congress' retirement benefits would show they have "skin in the game," said Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill). He has sponsored a bill that would expand the list of crimes for which a lawmaker could lose their pension benefits.

        Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) echoed his words. In his written testimony, he noted that Congress had an 11 percent approval rating in a December Gallup poll. "
        http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=520&sid=

      • John Ret USAF says:

        Congress gets FULL RETIREMENT for life after 1 ONE term in office! Military must be disabled or do 20 years for 1/2 retirement. Look at the difference between military pay (near poverty) levels and civil servant pay! We HAVE paid for the benefits we were PROMISED (free medical for life) with our sacrifices.

        • Absolutley John! We may not have a traditional deduction for medical on a LES but they (USMilitary) sends out our annual “here is what you are really making” breakdown. In it not only do they list what pur benefits cost therefore including it in total earnings they have the nerve to include our potential savings by using the Commisary. Now I have no problem contributing when my husband retires as he was not promised free lifetime healthcare but those already retired are getting a bum deal. Not to mention the possibility of my husband’s retirement getting reformed. It’s sad that you can’t even count on that. Good luck and God bless you all

        • Completely, 100% incorrect. Congress is under FERS, same as the civil service. They also pay into their health care – to the tune of a few hundred dollars A MONTH.

          And I don't know what you're looking at, but civil service and military pay are comparable for similar duties.
          http://www.dfas.mil

      • Charlles that may be true what your saying about congress. If so then let them stop usein g t ax money to move around the country and use the same health care and retirment plan as the army,navy and other armed fources. Stop giving them selves pay increases,and complaning about thay dont make enough for what thay do,how there away from there family,Join the armed fources see how much you away from your family,Let them retire with the same pay and benefits as our military. Sorry but you cant tell me congress isnt looking out for themselves!!!

      • Charles,

        Congress has had an automatic pay raise every year

        They receive one unless they vote NOT to get it

    • I totally agree with that. Why do we always have to bare the burden…we did serve our country wuth honor and promised to be looked after for the remainder. And how fair is it for a politician to serve one time and receive healthi benefits for them and their famililies for life nad never have to worry. Something is truly wrong with how veterans are handled after there time is served

  7. SSG Carey says:

    If we STOP giving are hard earn money to other countries that don't like us any way and STOP CONGRESS automatice pay raise every year , maybe we can get this once Great Country back on tarick again.

    • CharlesBryant says:

      SSG Carey,

      Congress hasn't had a pay raise since 2009 thru 2012.

    • While looking at foreign aid is worthwhile, it hardly will solve the problem in it's own right. As I pointed out elsewhere, the total foreign aid budget (to include military and non-military) is about 10% of the DoD budget. And, as CB points out, Congress has not had a pay raise since 2009, when they froze Civil Service pay.

      Note also there are proposals on the table to increase the amount Congressmen have to pony up to their retirement fund.

      • SOOOOO what! If you want to get rich I guess you need to join our elected officials. If you don't want to get rich but get killed for our country it's ok right? I mean they VOLUNTEERED for congress right. If they get elected out before 20 then I guess they suck and deserve no retirement or benefits. Their retirement is so much worse than ours according to you. They pay into it. Let's add up the dead? What exactly is a dead soldier worth?

    • Part 2:
      ttp://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_budget_2011USbn_13bs1n_807071_801#usgs302

      The entire cost for Congress (to include Staff and Operations, in addition to Congressional salaries and benefits) amounted in FY11 to $4.2 billion. Assuming a 10% reduction possible, that's a savings of $420 million.

      DoD spending (including retiree pay and benefits) was $678 billion, Spending on Veterans was $141 billion.

      Foreign military aid was $11.6 billion, foreign non-military aid amounted to $43.6 billion.

    • Part 3: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2011-APP/pdf/

      Compensation for the Senate (to include Senators and staffers): $191 million.
      Compensation for the House (to include Representatives and staffers): $1.419 billion http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2011-APP/pdf/

      Total personnel costs, DoD: $138.5 billion
      Total DoD Health Care costs: $30.9 billion

      Those personnel costs include the prefunding of retirement (in other words, military retirement is fully funded, and the argument can be made that any cuts to retirement (not retiree health care) is a cut of funds that were paid in for our retirement while we were on active duty.

      • Cost of military funerals???? Sons and daughters without mothers or fathers? As usual your stats are good, but guess what you haven't suffered a bit or your tone and argument would change.

  8. This is a travesty to all soldiers of all ranks. We have all sacrificed so much during our tenure as this country's soldiers. We have been lied to time and again about benefits for life as a recruiting tool. We have spent numerous days, weeks, and months at a time away from family for the things we are now seeing thrown out the window. We should all show what we think in the next round of voting and put these people out on the street just as they are doing to us.

  9. Albert Mudge says:

    Here we go again.Cut the Military I came in after the Korean War we were using 2d World items to Train with that would fall apart.Then after Vietnam we were Cut to the Bone on every thing .When President Reagan came and rebuilt the Military then President Clinton came and cut the Military Then President Bush came in and had to Rebuilt the Military But 911 Put War again . Now they have not learned from the past with the base closing .By moving people and equipment to new areas that could not handle it. A good example is The AFB's At Rome NY and Plattsburgh NY to McQuire AFB NJ.Now the Air Force has to Train at Fort Drum just because there was Ex Rep. or Sentor from NJ That was on the board also look at the mess they have in VA.no Roads to handle the vehicle traffic and closing a beautiful Military Base that could have been updated at 1/3 the cost. This is just some of the stupid division,s that have been made and are still being made. CW4 USA Retired Albert Mudge

    • First, I am a Republican, not a Democrat; however I must correct you. I worked at Navy HQ (BUPERS) in Arlington from early '91 thru mid '94 in the manpower management department (PERS221), managing the manpower of 13 enlisted job specialties (ratings), and sat in on regular monthly meetings with the Chief of Naval Personnel that involved the entire Naval Manpower, and drafted many manning reports used by my 2 Star to report back to Capitol Hill. I am intimately familiar with the military drawdown in regards to the Navy, as well as its affect on the other services during that time. HOWEVER, the military drawdown across all services actually was proposed, written and began its implementation under the BUSH administration.

  10. Albert Mudge says:

    Sentor should be (Senator) also division should be(division) Thanks Al Mudge

  11. Albert Mudge says:

    Division should be (Dicision) I'am not sure what is wrong with the I-Pad Ha Ha

  12. via: Paul Myers

    The USA should invade the USA and win the hearts and minds of the population by building roads, bridges and putting locals to work.

  13. MOAA has it right – these proposed changes to tricare are against the spirit, even if not the letter, of the understanding between the government and the military, and the expectations of those who are retired or soon to retire based on the previous Congressional actions. Only the Military is able to be deployed to war zones without their consent. We had to put up with frequent moves and sometimes forced separations from families (remote tours). All with the expectations, created by Congressional action in the past, that we would be taken care of. No contract exists, and certainly the expectations can be changed for those who have not enlisted yet, but for those retired, this is changing the game after the fact. Legal, but not moral.

    Congress also needs to fix the provider issue – ideally permanently. Best would be to increase the number of MTFs and allow Category 8 veterans to be seen in the VA system, but if not, work to ensure TriCare reimbursement rates are sufficient to incentivize doctors to take TriCare patients.

    • It's the link in the article above to MOAA – but here's the link – http://www.moaa.org/Main_Menu/Take_Action/Legisla

    • Charles you did say nobody was cutting your benefits right?

      • CharlesBryant says:

        IDMTmedic,

        "Charles you did say nobody was cutting your benefits right?"

        Is there an echo in here. Yes, that is just what I said, and I will say it again. I retired in 1995 and I have more benefits now than I had before.

        • YES and your still and idiot and haven't a clue. My guess is your close to a free funeral but of course you wouldn't do that. RIGHT?

          • CharlesBryant says:

            IDMTmedic,

            Are you not going to explain to me what benefits they have cut from me so I can get nervous?????

            Please show me those cuts since my retirement in 1995!

          • IDMTmedic says:

            Lack of access and increased rates? No cut in Benefits? lmao

          • CharlesBryant says:

            IDMTmedic,

            I have no lack of access health care, and increasing my Tricare Fee is not cutting my benefits.

            You need to redefine your argument!

    • Getting nervous?

    • One more thing, " against the spirit even not the letter, of the understanding between the government and the military, and the expectations of those who are retired or soon to retire based on the previous congressional actions. Only the military is able to be deployed to war zones without their consent"
      Last I checked you were stating that there is no such contract! Now unless I missed something a promise is Dam# close to "against the spirit even not the letter, of the understanding between the gov. and the military etc.

      • If you'd quit trying to argue with what I don't say, you may take time to read my words and understand that, while I oppose cuts to current retirees and those currently in the military, I base my stand on facts, and do my best to bring those facts to others.

        There is no promise. However, those who are currently retired based their planning on the situation in place, and had expectations based on the plans in place that those plans would continue. Can Congress legally change the retirement plan? Yes. Should they – no. For a variety of reasons, not only because of the expectations built, but because, as I said, we are the only ones that can be involuntarily deployed to war zones. We are forced to make frequent moves, upsetting family life and reducing our ability to build income and wealth. The vast majority is paid less than the private sector, with the understanding (but not promise) that retirement will be provided for. Our retirements (but not our retired health care) is pre-funded. I've posted links to many of these in the past, searches on this website will find them.

        • You mean that when I sat at the recruiting desk, and the guy said to me….if you stay and retire with the US ARMED FORCES, you will be taken care of medically as long as you breathe and with 50% of your pay. You mean that conversation? Do you mean that this representative of the United States LIED to me. OMG!! THERE WAS NO CONTRACT??? OMG (I love sarcasm)

          • Back in the 80's the government lost a law suit all the way to the US Court of Appeals that argued the same points. The retirees won and Congress started TRICARE to comply with the findings of the Court of Appeals rather than go to the US Supreme court. I recall that the issues were more than medical benefits and DoD and Congress did not want the US Supreme Court to rule on all the issues so Congress came up with the TRICARE bone to appease the mad dogs demanding their due benefits.

          • Tricare was started as a replacement for CHAMPUS, not due to a court case.
            http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimo

          • CharlesBryant says:

            Tony1941, Part 1

            On February 8, 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the lower court ruling (Schism and Reinlie v. U.S.) declaring “… the government breached its implied-in-fact contract with retirees when it failed to provide them with health care benefits.”22 The appeals court reversed the district court decision and remanded the case for a determination of damages. Despite various claims, this finding applied only to the two named plaintiffs (and not to all military retirees), and no determination of damages was made. (Some have erroneously reported that the ruling “would have required the government to pay to three million retirees, widows and dependents up to $10,000 apiece.”) On June 13, 2001, the Appeals Court vacated the judgment, withdrew its opinion, and agreed to rehear the appeal en banc. As stated “[t]he court has determined to rehear this case en banc to resolve the question of whether the promises of free lifetime care made to and accepted by
            Plaintiffs-Appellants should be afforded binding effect.”

          • CharlesBryant says:

            Tony1941, Part 2

            On November 18, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals (voting 9 4) stated: In the end, because no actual authority existed for the recruiters’ promises of full free lifetime medical care, the plaintiffs cannot show a valid implied-in-fact contract. Thus, the plaintiffs’ claim must fail as a matter of law.

            On June 2, 2003, the Supreme Court denied the petition to review this case as well.

            http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

          • CharlesBryant says:

            Donna,

            Yep!

          • DASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

          • Have you actually read your enlistment contract?

            Does it say you will receive free medical care for life upon retiremenyt?

            Doesn’t matter what your recruiter told you, unless he put it in writing, you can’t prove he sai dit.

            (I’ve looked at my contract, and it says no such thing)

        • IDMTmedic says:

          I like your argument as you have stated on this post and will bite my tongue on the parts of your post I do not agree with. I am sure that your intentions are sound and only looking out for veterans interests. We will agree to disagree on certain points because the larger picture is the same.

        • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

          Also, he is 100% for PTSD with housebound in addition to 100% P&P for schedular. (AKA, left leg salvage – looks like they will be amputating that soon also – loss of left eye, severe traumatic brain injury with embedded shrapnel in his left temporal lobe of the brain, 2nd degree burns, approx 3k pieces of embedded shrapnel throughout his body and face. So yes, he does have VA and uses it for everything except emergencies due to 2 hour drive to get to it.

      • CharlesBryant says:

        IDMTmedic,

        What is it you don't understand? Free Medical Care for Life was never in the ENLISTMENT CONTRACT – ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES DD FORM 4 as stated earlier by "retiree"!

    • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

      I could not find your post that states, "If he was catastrophically wounded in Iraq, he should qualify for VA care. This proposal (which I oppose) does NOT affect VA care. If he is not getting VA care, please contact DAV and they will help get him the care he needs." in all of the commenting here but wanted to answer your question. We are 2 hours (one way) from the closest VA hospital. We have Medicare and Tricare for my husband in the event of an emergency. We have had to call rescue three times since 2008. Rescue will only transport to the closest hospital. Two of the three times my husband was thought to be having a heart attack by the EMT's. If we did not have Tricare, how would we survive the costs of a medical emergency in a civilian hospital.

      The next closest VA hospital is 2.5 hours from us as is the closest MTF. The next closest MTF is 2.75 hours from us and the last MTF is 3.5 hours from us.

      Tricare is also my only health coverage as I am his full time caregiver. (read: home health aid.)

      So, you can see that JUST having VA does not work for our situation. I hope that answers your question as to why I would be concerned. besides, my husband EARNED his Tricare coverage when he gave his leg, eye and mind in defense of this country.

      • I am extremely sorry for your pain and your husbands pain and injuries. Nothing will make it right regardless of what is posted on here or what "they" Congress decides on benefits. I am grateful that you have posted and it's why I am so angry with cuts of any kind. I have seen death and injuries and have tried to save some of those soldiers. My heart goes out to you and thank you for your strength and devotion to your husband. Please thank your husband Sgt. Armstrong for his sacrifice from myself and all veterans who have posted on here. If your in need of help then why not start right here. We are all veterans and I can feel your stress and frustration. Maybe we as veterans can help you both without the government red tape? I would like to hear more from you and possibly start an email correspondence so that we may help.

    • michael beattie says:

      I agree 100% but the only way to make changes in the congress is to put term limits on them, change their retirement/health benefits to match ours, and vote everyone out of office and start all over again.
      Retired CSM US amry 25 yrs and proud of it……..

      • Be careful asking to match benefits – Congress might take you up on it (see links I've posted elsewhere – they are under FERS and FEHBP).

        What would you do if Congress gave us the same retirement & healthcare system they use? Before you say "Great" learn their system:

        1. Healthcare costs a few hundred dollars A MONTH.
        2. No healthcare between retirement and collecting retirement pay (see below)
        3. After starting to collect retirement income, pay a few hundred dollars A MONTH for health care.
        4. Retirement based on 1.7%/year accumulation, NOT 2.5%/year (that makes it 34% of top 3 for 20 years, not 50%)
        5. Pay into that retirement out of your pocket.
        6. First collect retirement at age 62. IF you serve 20, you can collect at age 50. If you serve 25, then you can retire at any age.
        7. Max initial retirement 80% of your top 3 (ours goes to 100% at 40 years).

        "Wait, that's not what I wanted!" No, but it's what you're asking for.

        THIS is why I (and probably CharlesBryant and others) keep harping on the facts – because if folks keep asking for what they THINK exists, they're liable to end up with what DOES exist – and it's not what they want. It's definitely not what I want.

      • We have term limits, michael, they go into effect at the ballot box. Every time there's an election people decide on how they feel about the person who holds the office, and if enough decide he/she did a bad job, the voters impose a term limit, there and then. They vote the person out of office. If enough people are satisfied, the incumbent gets to stay. That's why it behooves elected officials to make happy those who elect them, not those they do not represent. It takes time, remember, for every new person to learn the ins and outs of the job, as it does anyone in a new job. So voting out someone who is doing a good job doesn't make sense, does it?

  14. It's funny how those making the cuts aren't the ones who have to depend on these benefits that all our soldiers have worked hard and deserve to receive. Maybe if the politicians had to use the same medical plans they give us, they might decide we need more, not less. It would be great if politicians considered the people who keep them safe deserve a break not another kick in the backside. They are all millionaires and pay less taxes than middle class. So, if they would give up their pay they don't need and use it for the good of the country, we wouldn't have to worry about cutbacks. People in prison and on welfare get more things free than those who put their lives on the line for this country. We need to rethink where the money is needed.

    • "Maybe if the politicians had to use the same medical plans they give us, they might decide we need more, not less. "

      So you want to improve their health-care plan?
      http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

      Like all Federal Civil Servants, they yearly get to choose among a variety of commercial health insurance plans, and then get the privilege of paying a few hundred dollars A MONTH for health care (plus deductibles and co-pays).

      For "welfare" – TANF (temporary aid to needy families) has work requirements and time-limits (I believe it is 5 year lifetime). That was put in place during the Clinton years.

      Also, if you eliminate pay for Congress, I guarantee the only Congressmen you will get will be millionaires who can afford to take 2-6 years off from work and still get an income. Our campaign finance system needs serious work to allow non-millionaires a chance of running, and reduce the influence of corporations and the wealthy, but eliminating Congressional Salaries will only make the problem worse, not better.

    • Julie's comments are right on the issues at hand!!!!!! The politicians say we will cut the budget, but they don't say how this will actually take place. How can you cut what little is paid to the doctors??? Some states are harder than others to find good doctors especially specialists-these politcians will chase the good ones away when we retirees need them the most! That is a real thank you for your service!!!

  15. 1SG (R) KB says:

    How many junior grade retirees could there be? I don't know of too many E-4/E-5 retirees. SecDef Leon Panetta is a two-faced politician. As a CA Congressman, Panetta said they would never shut down Fort Ord, after he got on Clinton's cabinet, the axe came down because he no longer needed to be voted in. Democrats have always been the worst enemy the Armed Forces. I remember in the early 90's having to take up a collection to buy bore brushes to clean our weapons in a regular Army Infantry Division. Get rid of pork barrel politics, fraud, waste, and abuse first. Stop electing millionaire politicians, pass the 28th amendment, install term limits and make election contributions $1,000 maximum per person or any other entity. As a retiree we have given more than half our lives to this country, and unvoluntarily neglected our families.

  16. 1SG (R) KB says:

    If they keep this up they won't have to worry about reniging on our benefits, no one will stay long enough to retire or probably even join. It's time for all Americans to take back this country from the politicians and corporate CEOs. Our Constitution doesn't start with, "We the Elitists" it begins with, "We the people.." Don't give away your rights, politicians are supposed to represent the people. Vote them out!!

  17. glad i'm retired says:

    this reads like a script from 2005 – almost word for word. If they follow the same rabbit trail, our fees could triple for working-age retired officers and double for enlisted retirees. Not to sound alarmist but this matches "TRICARE working age military retirees will take a significant hit under the proposed defense budget." comments from MOAA.

    sounds like we're truly screwed. thanks for looking out for us Mr Ax-man, er Panetta.

    TRICARE Fee Increase, Tom Philpott | December 08, 2005
    Defense Department officials have drafted plans to raise TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles sharply over the next three years for military retirees under age 65 and their families, about three million beneficiaries.

  18. glad i'm retired says:

    Read Pilpots article at http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,82291,00… for background on the healthcare increase.

  19. glad i'm retired says:

    this reads like a script from 2005 – almost word for word. If they follow the same rabbit trail, our fees could triple for working-age retired officers and double for enlisted retirees. Not to sound alarmist but this matches "TRICARE working age military retirees will take a significant hit under the proposed defense budget." comments from MOAA.

    TRICARE Fee Increase
    Tom Philpott | December 08, 2005
    Defense Department officials have drafted plans to raise TRICARE enrollment fees and deductibles sharply over the next three years for military retirees under age 65 and their families, about three million beneficiaries.

    If the changes touted by senior Defense officials are adopted, annual enrollment fees for TRICARE Prime, the military’s managed care option, would triple by October 2008 for working-age retired officers and double for enlisted retirees.

    Yearly deductibles for retirees using TRICARE Standard, the fee-for-service health insurance option, would double for officers and rise by a third for enlisted. Also, for the first time retirees who use TRICARE Standard would pay an enrollment fee in addition to their deductible.

  20. Maybe what is scary is that I have written to my rep several times related to retiree issues and he always comes back with the same reply, but he relates it only to active duty members even though I state, more than once, the issue is for retirees. The reps could care less and even those reps that are veterans themselves aren't looking out for fellow veterans in all this. The senate armed services committee seems bound and determined to wish retirees would just disappear and not "bother" the country so much.

  21. So what can we do to stop this in addition to writing our Congressmen and Senators? How can we get a healthcare option introduced as a bill and get voted on for all Senators, Congressmen of the country and states to be placed on the same health system as military active duty and retirees? We can comment until we're blue in the face, but how can we take action?

  22. This is why I'm running as an INDEPENDENT for US Senate from Texas. It is time for the ruling elite to start cutting THEIR benefits. I need the help of all my fellow retirees in Texas. Go to my website, http://www.ILIkeMike4Senate.com and sign up to help me bringing some sanity to this out-of-control federal government.
    Mike Champion

    • Gooo man, move to Florida!!!!!

    • They aren't listening… And won't listen until they see us standing before them. Do all of you not see this? Are our memories so short that we don't remember the Union marches, the Viet Nam protests, the recent and ongoing (and worthless) occupiers protesting now? They've all accomplished something we AREN'T !! They are ACTING, while we sit on our butts and whine and complain. Letter writing? How is that working for you now, got any replies? Probably not because they have shredders they love to use ( at least their AIDES use them) it's either that or they ignore our letters, cause I haven't had one reply. We need to get up and act, we need to get up off our arses, organize a march on Washington and show them WE DON'T LIKE IT AND WE AREN'T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE.

    • I would, Texas is my home state, but live in Florida. Good luck to you. At least you are doing something active

  23. retnavydoc says:

    Nothing unexpected here – more of the same from the liberals in D.C. The only time they support the military is is that support improves their political standing – such as Obama making hay about his authorization for the SEALS to take out Bin Laden.
    As far as TRICARE providers, I live in a large metropolitan area just north of Detroit that has three large medical centers and many many doctors – I had to go to the next county to find a provider willing to accept TRICARE. A 30 minute drive to a Dr. appt and if I require hospitalization, the hospital where he is on staff is just over an hour away.

    • army 1SG retired says:

      You can blame this on the republican congress who refused to compromise on anything. This reduction in defense funding was then triggered when the committee of 12 couldn't agree on how to raise money as well as reduce costs.

      • How about the liberal democrats that refused to consider any but their own plan… Pointing fingers should include ALL who have been responsible for our current mess, including the DUMB electorate – who continue to send the same idiots back repeatedly – who put us in this mess to begin with. CONGRESS (all flavors) has refused to acknowledge the problems facing us for decades, and rather have continued to spend spend spend and promise promise promise stuff that just can't be paid for. Time to clean house and start with a CONGRESS who know just WHO they work for — and it isn't the Democratic Party, the Republican party, or any other such entity. They are supposed to work for WE THE PEOPLE…

    • These are republicans and tea party people who are cutting all the budgets get your facts straight.

      • He wouldn't know a fact if it reached out and smacked him up the side of the head with a 2×4… He is a typical die-hard party member… (They come in all flavors!!!)

      • They need to be cut. Cuttign 500 Billion from medicare was a good thing.

    • distancethunder says:

      It's congress, NOT the President who's pulling the strings on this. Nothing will be done unless it directly effects their (congress) health insurance or chances of being re-elected.distancethunder

  24. Tony De Angelis says:

    I have written our congressional budget chiefs to consider cuts in welfare benefits before they touch one cent of those who risked their lives and limbs for the nation; that is real fairness!

  25. Perhaps unnecessary expensive weapons systems could be cut. Or how about the BILLIONS in waste that the Corps of Engineers are responsible for in Afghanistan?

  26. If these cuts were applied to those who voted for them,you would be sure never to hear another word about them.They always pick on the ones they have direct control over.I say vote them out-most of them are only falling asleep at there desks in Washington.

    • Old Navy guy says:

      You've got it, cgerace! We desparately need term limits for our Congress. I would like to see them with one six-year term, not eligible for re-election. Then they would have no reason to "flirt" with all the lobbyists, and could spend more time working for their constituents. Now they spend much of their time fund-raising. With an election every two years to replace one third of our reps, we would have the experienced to train the new guys, and we would not have "professional congressmen."

  27. These politicians on the Hill do not care nor do they even understand the promise that was given our military men and women. But let someone touch their excessive retirement benefits and all hell would break out. These people serviing on the Hill, most have not even served in the military. John McCain but even he has turned his back on our soldiers. I am sick and tired of all of them up there.

  28. Samuel Pascarello says:

    After going 40 years (regular& reserve) a group who mostly have no military
    service are going to cut our benefits??
    It is almost election time lets get real this time.

  29. I am convinced that I will never learn. I believe people. "When you boys sign up, you will have free medical for you and your family for the rest of your lives." Nothing is too good for our fighting men, and that's what they are gonna get…..nothing too good. Washington is a group of route weavels who inch by inch take away what was suppose to be free FOREVER. I should have known better.

  30. Washington must believe that personnel must be stupid to accept the new planned retirement package.Anyone with basic math can see through this and get a good laugh.Washington wants to save money,here are some good ideas-take away postage allowence, take away extra house allowence.cut senate and congressional salaries by 5%.Lets see them make cuts closer to home and see how that works.

  31. What about tricare for life will that go up.

  32. I think it is sad that our country does not support our military. Retirees, veterans deserve the very best………..medical care, post-service support, retiree benefits. This should be a no brainer…. Take care of our Military!

    If they need to cut something. Stop welfare…….. LAZY – Welfare/disability receipients is what is killing this country. Stop all Welfare for 90 days and see what happens. How much money would the Gov't save over this 90 day period? I'll bet if need be – these people will find a job.

    Make them all re-apply after 90 days under stricter guidelines with time limits of no more than two years of aid per lifetime – unless they are severly handicapped or are adults with the mental capability of a small child. I do believe there are unusual circumstances that may require long-term aid, but I believe the vast majority of receipients are abusing the system.

    • distancethunder says:

      "adults with the mental capability of a small child"…Lookinig into a mirrow, are you.

    • I think there is a better way. Instead of directly cutting welfare (since we have become a spinless socialist led country) let people decide where their tax money goes. Let tax paying people decide which federal programs their money should go.

      Or simply use welfare as it was designed, as a temporary system, not a permanant paycheck. Enforce standards! Create some tougher standards. You want a welfare check? First, have this hysterectomy then you can collect your next check!

      Eventually the current system is going to collapse. The 20% is done carrying the other 80%!

      • geary ward says:

        if we stopped giving away the billions to all the other countries except Israel; along with the free handouts things would be a lot better.

  33. With the war winding down your going to see the biggest spike in unemployment because all branches of service are downsizing and these personnel have no place to go.Then when the next geographical emergency arises they will come back with the services are undermanned.We have seen this in the past and unless we clean Washington out ,we will be seeing it over and over

  34. William Rodis says:

    The sad reality is that this Administration proclaims its support for our troops while stabbing us veterans in the back. I agree that it is a time for collective sacrifice, but balancing the budget solely on the backs of our veterans is wrong, and is a dishonor to them and the Nation they have served. The public is so upset about proposed cuts to social security and medicare, but nobody seems to give a damn about the veterans. The sad reality is that with the dishonored promises, this Country's "support" for the troops consist of symbolic flag waving and empty rhetoric. The truth is that this nation does not support its troops, not really.

    • AMEN, brother

      • MrsLfromTexas says:

        In the article see the "Military Officers Assn of Amer"., click it.
        See that the current Administration wants taxes of the wealthy who live
        like Kings, pay their fair share of taxes to help pay for things like the care of our military personnel. You'll see it is the Republican Congress who says NO, we want only budget cuts! You see, it is the Repub. party who says cut, cut cut. And that goes for the military/retired, too. Read it.

    • MrsLfromTexas says:

      Better look at the Republicans for this one. McCain says it's ok with him to take away benefits from the military, retired, too. If a Col.has to pay more for tricare, why not? He's got the $$. Then the lower grade pays less.
      But just remember the Republican party waves the flag, says we love our soldiers, then takes away their benefits. Don't blame the President.
      Dig deep for your info. One paragraph doesn't say it all.

  35. GentFromAlaska says:

    I keep seeing reference made to working age retirees, those 37-65 (or older) IMO any Tricare adjustments/increases should consider and be tied to the dismal state of job market for military retiree sect of the population.

    In many States the same military retiree is not normally entitled to draw employment benefits. What really threw me for a tizzy was when I found out unemployed military retirees are not included in unemployment statistics we read about at the city, state and federal level because the stats are tied to those who draw week over week unemployment benefits. Translated the unemployment stats you read about are skewed, around cities and towns co-located near medium to large military installations.

  36. I am a Chapter 61 retiree, forced out due to injuries I received in Iraq in 2005 on my 3rd deployment to Iraq. I only served for 8.5 years, and my retirement pay is probably alot lower than most of yours’, as I was only an E-4. Maybe my opinion doesn’t matter for the reasons listed, but I am actually surprised by alot of the comments on here.
    I never signed up for the benefits, only to serve my country. The benefits are nice, but I am thankful for any help I can get. I do not feel I am entitled to anything, and therefore feel that these proposed cuts are only another way to help out our country. Sure, it may seem unfair and may put some vets in a bind, but that is what I signed up for: to help this country in any way possible. I was a Marine Corps infantryman, enlisted before 9/11, and now I am a civilian student, willing to do anything to help out still.
    The biggest problem with our country, in my opinion, is that we have an attitude of entitlement. It spans all spectrums, and it is driving us into the ground. Sure, we worked our asses off, bled and sacrificed for this country, and are probably more deserving of entitlements than most. However, we should never expect anything in return for this. If you served for nothing more than the benefits, than I feel for you.
    Again, only my opinion, but I think many may agree with me. When you signed that contract and took that oath, you agreed to sacrifice for this country. I took it to heart and will continue to sacrifice. I am only 31, and am not naive enough to believe that my benefits will not change in my lifetime. Quit worrying about how these cuts effect YOU, and look at the big picture. Like it or not, this country cannot continue down this path of “everyone is entitled” for much longer. Do something about it and get out and vote, or write your Rep as has been stated. Semper Fi

    • 100% agree with you!

    • Are you suggesting I should also give up my retirement pay? I served 21 years, is it an entitlement to expect to receive my retirement pay? At the time I enlisted the agreement was that retirees receive medical care – if I worked for GE and retired, are my benefits then an entitlement? As you attend college, are your GI Bill payments an entitlement? You could decline your GI Bill tuition, decline student loans subsidized by the government at low-interest, decline taking your tuition as a deduction on your taxes, etc.

      • milretdude1995 says:

        Right on Paul !!! My point exactly. I served 24 years and we went into the military for multiple reasons. To serve our country and to fight for freedom if and when necessary. We were away from family, missed weddings, graduations, baptisms, holidays, etc. We went where we were told and when we were told … gave it 100 % as promised. We considered all "the bennies" promised as entitlements after retirement and reenlisted. We saw many changes, some good some not so good. Now we are expected to roll over while our promised entitlements are changed after the fact or taken away? Not having it. I clicked on the blue link at the bottom of the article and contacted all my elected officials including President Obama and SECDEF Panetta and state polititians. May not make a difference but at least my voice has been heard. Hope everyone does the same.

        • I also gave 30+ years boy, so if you only served 8 years and filed a claim for a disability (which I didn't) don't speak on our behalf cause we were told these benifits were going to be ours if we fulfilled a retirement of 20+ years, not get one sooner. Paul probably has it correct too. I'm sure you are probably taking advantage of all those benifits you feel you are entitled to like schooling and such. Obviously you are not one who was a team player with your unit or service or this lack of empathy would piss you off too! We'll suck it up and be behind our country but don't assume the rest of us have more to loose than you at your E-4 pay. Be correct in saying that most of us worked our buts off all our lives to defend this country and we are owed the "BENIFITS" we were promised.

          • More than likely the way that young Marine was thinking…well, that is why he is an 8.5 year E-4 ! I served 30 years and yes I very well earned my Benifits! You are on the mark Mary.

          • I served 24 years and consider the benefits I now receive are (not entitlements at all but) earned benefits from promises made! Military retirees have always put our country first with our blood and guts and our government representatives have placed us in harms way and made promises they never expected to keep!

          • "For those that will fight for it…FREEDOM …has a flavor the protected shall never know."
            L/Cpl Edwin L. "Tim" Craft, February, 1968

          • Retired Helo Pilot says:

            Mary,
            Show some respect to a fellow retiree, whether you agree with his post or not. He only served 8.5 years (which is still more than 99% of Americans) because of his Iraq injuries. You've got no right to judge him with your ridiculous comments. So you served 30+ years. That deserves respect, but we all sacrificed (deployments, time away from loved ones, etc.). Nobody forced us to join. We volunteered! If we can sacrifice on active duty we can sure as hell sacrifice a bit as retirees for the good of the country (which was the point of EdUSMCret's post). I don't want any of us to lose benefits but if we do (and that's up to the politicians) then officers and senior enlisted retirees should take more of a hit than junior enlisted, especially if they're combat vets/retirees. DoD shouldn't be the only department to take hits either. Spread the cuts around. Unlike you, I don't feel anybody OWES me anything. I'm grateful for the pension and TRICARE but am not so naive to think I won't have to pay more (or receive a little less) in the future due to the country's fiscal situation.

      • edUSMCret says:

        SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
        I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

        • Jaguar1378 says:

          I, for one, appreciate your sense of dedication, obvious sacrifice and loyalty. You have refreshed our memory regarding a sense of selflessness and dedication to duty, God, Corps and Country.

        • I agree on many of the topics you touched on, but it gets old when promised military benefits seem to feel the first axe when it comes to budget cutting. what many don't realize about a military career is that it puts you on the backburner for every other field you want to enter at age 42. I don't have a regret over that — but it's a fact, while I was serving my country in Incirlik, Turkey, lots of folks back home were climbing right past me on the career ladder of your choice. so yes, there is a sacrifice. and yes, i was willing to sacrifice for my country and my family. but it tends to tick you off when you are promised something for your sacrifice and it gets chipped away every year, while others who have never served, i.e., congress, never have a nickel shaved from what they've "earned."

          • That's a good point which I, as a military spouse, never considered. My husband retired at 20+, and was VERY lucky to fall into a good job with a company that prioritized hiring vets. He was working 2 weeks after his retirement date. That was before today's high unemployment. He had to leave that job after 8 years for medical reasons, and has been pretty lucky in finding other employment. He now works for a county library, which he likes, and we hope he can retire completely in 3 years. With these cuts in medical benefits, I don't know what we will do! I can't find a job, despite having a MA and some post-MA work, and a good job history. We are grateful for what we have, and try to enjoy our military benefits for as long as they last.

        • EdUSMCret you are correct for the most part about the feeling of entitlement that many seem to espouse. However, many of us joined before any conflicts were in effect. The reasons are varied, but, as in my case, one of the things we were promised, if we stayed for 20 or more, was free medical and dental for ourselves and spouse. That has changed to now I pay, which is alright, but was not the promise. They are talking about increasing that rate, yet they let people, who are capable of earning a living stay on government assistance, food stamps, welfare, etc. and have not considered having them perform a service for those funds nor reducing them.
          Your situation is different from those of us that put in that 20, missed family events, and did the job. Your career was cut short, through no fault of your own. You earned those benefits just as we did. earning is different from getting something for nothing.

          • Good point about earning instead of getting for nothing. Hold one before you bash food stamps too hard though. I was a welfare case worker for many years in 3 different states (military). Food Stamps are the ONLY program that generates more income than it costs to administer. They used to calculate for ever $1 spent, it generated $1.50 in tax revenue by providing jobs for everyone from farmers to truck drivers to grocery store clerks. Not saying everyone should be on food stamps, but it is a program that has done more good than most.

          • TOO MUCH ABUSE IN THE FOOT STAMP PROGRAM. WE HAD STORES HERE IN SEATTLE THAT WERE TAKING THE FOOD CARDS, TURNING THEM IN FOR FULL REIMBURSEMENT, AND GIVING THE RECIPIENT CASH AT A REDUCED LEVEL. THEY'VE TAKEN MILLIONS, THE CASH WAS NOT USED FOR FOOD, MORE LIKELY DRUGS OR ALCOHOL. THE NEWS HERE UNCOVERED THIS TO THE STATE…..

        • That's part of the problem. You can't represent a 20 or 30 year VET after serving 8.5 years. I'd like to hear how you feel when you're 60 and unable to work based on your disabilities and they take away the only healthcare you can qualify for much less afford. I served my 20 plus years and at that time did what i was advised to do to prepare for the future. I believe the only people entitled to make decisions on the promised benfits such as pensions, healthcare for life, the use of on base facilities, and how the loss of these programs will effect us are the actual VETS that received that promise from their government. I salute you for your service but don't think that you speak for me because you do not!

        • oldnavyrysg says:

          Active 68-89; continued Navy comms support 89-present…..would do it all again. Marine, I admire your drive, thank you for your service, wish you all the best. Yoy've already made a difference. Do not back down. We are all facing challenges ahead; medical, retainer, retirement, social security, not to mention mortgage, utilities, car payment, insurance. It is not productive to carp about our differences. We served for the reasons we served. I never saw combat but would go today if they'd have me. To ALL, hand salute.

        • Ed,
          Here is an idea you can use. When our government stops throwing away a bunch of tax dollars, foreign aide for example, to countries who hate us, then we might have enough money to pay veterans for keeping this country free, so far.

        • Semper-Fi, which you somewhere have forgotten means " Always Faithful". I'm not going into my service to My country but I feel compelled to give you good advice here seeing you are in real need of it. 1st. Keep your opions to yourself untill you have heard everyones side on the issues you would like to comment about. You will ruffle less feather this way. 2. Remember that you will be judged by a generation of Men and some Women that know how a E-4 w/8.5 years does not get promoted due to combat injuries and it is'nt due to not running a PFT. In other words Bull Shit. Now who is entiled to benifits Freedom Fighters or social rerjects? They had the oppotunities to progress there own lifes just all who have served their Country but thought it is easier to Drop out of school, sell drugs, or this is the best one of Let's go rob,rape, or steal from someone. Who? This is the problem and always will be the problem until we as a Country stop it, and to do this we have to get rid of the liberals like COMM. and Cheif and his left wing demorgrats that have a long history of breaking Promises that they had no intentions of keeping.

        • Thank you for working on the Veterans organization at your school. You can get a lot of information from the Vets who have served, just visit a VA hospital. Encourage others to vote, to write, we need a grass roots effort to get things done. We help with Heartbeat for Wounded Warriors here in Washington state. But, we need to insure that every Veteran be taken care of whether they are wounded, or retired, we owe it to them for their service. We have too many people who don't have a clue what our Veterans have done for us. I have 2 classmates lying in graves because of the Vietnam war, one 20 yrs old, rec'd the bronze star, another 21, rec'd the silver star. I also have a classmate who was signed to play ball with the Mets and rec'd his draft notice and served. He was only one of three who came back, from the guys he served with, and he was in pretty bad shape. He went on to get schooling and taught, but battled the demons, health issues, and drank too much, he died a few years ago…..that is just a couple stories….just think of the millions who never came home……we need to take care of those who did….

        • I to am a Marine Corps veteran that entered active duty in 1974. At that time we were promised free medical care for life if we served 20 years of active service. Although the basis for retirement pay entitlements changed over the years, i.e. high three and I believe another program, those of us that entered service in 1974 were led to believe that we would continue to receive those benefits. I left the Marine Corps after serving 13 years active service, I then served over 12 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve before returning to active duty shortly after 9/11 and then served 23 days shy of 6 years. I was sent a package by the Army saying I should complete the enclosed forms as it was possible that I was no longer fit for military service. I put that package in my desk drawer and submitted my retirement paperwork.

          I would challenge you to elect some courses in your continuing education that would enlighten you as to the benefits bestowed upon the elected officials that will determine what it will cost most retired military personnel for continued health care.

          I retired in 2007 and it took more than one year for my spouse to find a civilian health provider that accepted TRICARE that was taking new patients. That was before the proposed reduction in payments to health care providers that we are looking at now.

          While you are exploring the benefits provided to our elected officials take a look at what benefits Mr. Panetta will receive as an appointed official. His retirement pay alone probably be more in a year than you will make in 5 and the biggest threat to his safety has been to land in a hostile fire area surrounded by a lot more firepower than protected you. If you want to add insult to injury you will probably find out that he and his entourage are entitled to hazardous duty pay while "visiting the troops".

        • Let's see, it is selfish of me to want what I worked for. I served my country and I am proud of it. However because of my years in service, yes I am retired, and DAV vet. I have never complained about paying my fair share, but don't question my love for my country because I expect it to hold up to it's promise Like I did the 20+ I served.

          my dad served over 20 years got the bronze star in Vietnam, at the age of 65 he lost his medical benefits, he got cancer lost a lung, this was all before Triacare for life…. he filed bankruptcy. Found out later it was the agent Orange,,,,,

          Your credentials don't empress me. they scare me that you don't have the back of your fellow soldier. My two bothers were Marines, they had and still have each other backs.

          I believe we all need to tighten are belt. but far to long its been the Vet… you got know ideas to me…. I have always felt I am open minded…. listen to others opinions, but you are attacking other service members. I don't know of any retired person or Disable Vet that is getting rich off the government, you came home to a heroes welcome, my dad came home to being spit on and couldn't land a good job for many years.

          You spent 8.5 years you said this your self, you are taking the benefits that you earned, so what if they dried up tomorrow, including you your DAV benefits and you Marines

      • First, I'm a guest to this site and I did 4 yrs. in the USAF 40 years ago. An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. You signed up and did your duty and you are certainly entitled to everything they promised you by law in return. You put your ass on the line and busted your butt. You earned it – It's payday. It's no different than any other employment contract or right. As a citizen, I vote for military personnel to get what they earned. That's why I pay my taxes. Cut other government expenses first. Why should you guys go without healthcare and Exon gets a break? John McCain is the worst followed by Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. They will and have stabbed the military people in the back on many occasion McCain was against the most recent VA benefit increase and has been on the Sunday morning talk shows with the other two talking about cutting the medical benefit for military retirees. Wise up and go with where your bread has been buttered. And that isn't with the tea party. Also, you heard with your own ears the squeals on Wall Street when the the bailed out firms wanted their bonus AND GOT IT. They claimed contractual rights. To sum up: they want to do to you what they are trying to do to all government workers and walk away from their obligations. That isn't right and it certainly isn't in keeping with American values.

    • As you said this is your opinion. My husband has been in for 22 years and it is his right, yeah I said it!, to expect and decent retirement! Go Air Force!

    • CSM Crowell says:

      You only served a short time. You did not make the military your career. When a soldier makes the military his/her career (25 years) then benefits HAVE to become a concern. You are still young. You still have time to move forward to a new career with medical benefits. Those of us who made military our life and have now retired with families depend on medical benefits to survive. Wake up young man. CSM Army Special Forces (Retired)

      • Thank you for your input. I would have made it a career, if given the option. I was only playing devils' advocate in this discussion. I spend my time between school and family life advocating for veterans' issues, so I needed a good response to others.

      • Right on! Thank you for your years of service, CSM. We have to stick together!

    • I understand what you are meaning but you also need to remember there were choices we made long ago based on benefits. When I got to my 10 year mark I made the choice to stay in because I saw the long term value of of doing 20 years. You need to remember these are benefits for doing a certain thing, such as 20 years of service. I am not saying I deserve all my benefits simply because I served, I did more than most, just like my fellow retirees. They should not be going back against those that have already retired. I know you may not have come in for the benefits but I am sure you are enjoying what has been promised to you.

    • To the Marine above and all others: Thank you for your service. Now please look at the other side for a moment. My spouse was drafted into the military in the 1960's. After his initial enlistment he decided to make the military a career. We served our country for almost 30 years. Our frequent moves meant that only one of us could have a career. My spouse is now in his early 70's and has 100% disability from his Viet Nam service. I believe he is "entitled" to his benefits. He would probably say that it doesn't make any difference. The Military needs to be an employer that keeps it's word, an employer of "first" resort and not last resort in order to attract the quality of people that are needed.

      As a family member I often experienced less than good service from health care providers who felt that Tricare/Champas was a form of Medicaid. Tricare is not a free handout – It is a benefit that was earned and cost is shared through deductables that are paid by the enrollees.

      I do not believe that the economy problems of this country are caused by Military Benefits.

    • USMCRETIRED says:

      Under the current promotion laws ( since the early 1990's ) it is not possible to be on active duty as an e-4 after 8.5 years. E-4 is a pay grade not a rank. Saying you are an E-4 instead of a Corporal and saying you were on active duty that long as an E-4 makes me question what you really are.

      • I have a son-in-law who was an E-4 with 12 yrs in NG…I told him when I was active duty I made E-4 within 1 Yr and E5 in 2 yrs..I retired from Army Reserve as an E-8 with a total of over 30 yrs active/reserve..Must be like that in NG as they have a lot of 15-20 yr E-4s in ranks..

      • E-1 = 2 years
        E-2 = 4 years
        E-3 = 6 years
        E-4 = 8 years
        Give or take processing time for chapter 61 paperwork give you the other 1/2 year…Just saying

      • I was promoted to Corporal (E-4) in 2005. I was injured about 2 months later, and they would not promote me to Sgt.(E-5) because I could not run and put on weight, and therefore did not meet the requirements to be promoted. They sent me to Parris Island to be a Marksmanship Instructor while I was on a medical board. I was on a medical board for a few years, and it held me past my EAS date. When all was said and done, I was discharged at 60%, and therefore retired. As far as using E-4 as opposed to Corporal, I know that not all branches understand the rank structure of other branches, so I figured I would make it somewhat easier. I apologize.
        To those who take exception to my opinion, I thank you for at least taking it into account and being mostly civil. As stated, I am young and did only serve a short time. I do not know what it is like to have served longer, and therefore my opinion is really based off of my own experiences and may not actually be a valid argument. I am humble enough to accept that.
        That being said, because I do not understand, I value the opinion of those who WOULD be adversely affected. Thanks for responding to me. I have a different view of it now, and will adjust my opinion on the matter accordingly. I was not trying to stir up anything, only giving my side of it. I can understand that it would be devastating to some, and not as devastating to others. Regardless of how it would affect me personally, I spend my free-time advocating for veterans and was playing the "devil's advocate" in this discussion. I need to hear all sides before I take a stand on the situation.
        Again, thank you for your time.

        • Navy Chief says:

          You don't indicate how long you served, or how long past 2005 you stayed prior to medical retirement, so I am assuming 2006. An E-4 at 60% with over 4 years (past EAS) Basic Pay was $1935.90. 60% (non taxable) of that is ~$1,160. I am a retired E-7 (Chief Petty Officer) with 21+ years of faithful service and my (taxable) retired pay is ~1,400 a month. So the net is about the same and yet you "served" probably 16 or 17 years less. Granted you were injured while on active duty, but it also sounds like you are getting the opportunity to go back to school while you are relatively young. Again as others have pointed out, those affected most greatly are standard retirees in the 50 – 65 age bracket. We are being squeezed with little recourse or time to recover.

          • EdUSMCret says:

            That is ridiculous. The system is obviously flawed. I served for 8.5 years, August 2001-Feb 2010… Thank you for your service. As I stated before, I was only playing devil's advocate.

          • You are SO right! Are you one of the lucky ones who got caught in the GI Bill switch in the 1980's? My husband was. He went in under the old GI Bill, but during his career, the Montgomery Bill was implemented, and he was expected to begin contributing. We didn't have the money to do it at that time, so the first 15 years of his service didn't count toward any GI Bill benefits. They should have grand-fathered him (and many others) in, but they didn't. Veterans now at least have that benefit. My husband never went on to college, so his job and income prospects were less than others had, and so this cut in military medical benefits will hit us harder than some. We have NO other insurance options available through jobs, etc. If they want to make it based on income, we would qualify, I would hope. Otherwise, we have become members of the uninsured working poor, just like so many other retirees will.

          • swin1swin2 usmc says:

            The young Cpl. retirement would come from the VA i think. It would be on a different scale? Check the VA web page for 60%

          • he states that he is military retired at 60% and 90% VA disability. The VA disability is not based on rank and is probably somewhere in the $1600.00 per month range depending on dependent status.

            It is obvious that he is young and not really concerned about health care in his older years. Another possibility is that perhaps he is attending a college that has a few liberal minded academia that have him convinced that those poor folks that can't find work because they are the victims social injustice should have benefits given to them.

        • I applauded you it takes a mature man to rethink and admit that there are other sides, shows you were a Marine. However, when our government officials and the public see remarks like yours it hurts as all. You are right, we all have to give to keep our country strong, that is why I pay my monthly insurance premium to tricare, my co- pays for medical a medication, even though it was promised to me free, we all have to help… Sir, you served in a time when country was behind you, there are tens of thousands of vets that didn't get this kind of treatment, I work with them all the time, our country failed them,,, and to day still hasn't made it up to them,.

          Some day sorry to say there will be another conflict and you will see how soon your benefits will be challenged. Your act s forgotten… our last Veterans Day Parade in city of 400,000+ there was a handfull to come out and pay respect.

      • I wondered that too! Maybe he never served at all.

    • Doug Jones says:

      Yeah, you don't understand this problem at all. So ..you served a combat tour, so you think returees who devoted their whole working lives to the US military shouldn't be compensated with health care benefits. I served three combat tours in Vietnam. When I first re-enlisted, it was guaranteed that retirees would have lifetime health care. Even though I had high technology training, I gave up an opportunity to become financially successful by staying in the military-and was guaranteed life time health care. We give full-scale health care to people who never worked, but it's still ok to cut off or increase costs for people who devoted theri lives to serving their country. Man, you have no idea what's going on in this country. I feel sorry for you… Is the govt paying for your college expenses?…oh, yeah, you deserve it…

      • I was promoted to Corporal (E-4) in 2005. I was injured about 2 months later, and they would not promote me to Sgt.(E-5) because I could not run and put on weight, and therefore did not meet the requirements to be promoted. They sent me to Parris Island to be a Marksmanship Instructor while I was on a medical board. I was on a medical board for a few years, and it held me past my EAS date. When all was said and done, I was discharged at 60%, and therefore retired. As far as using E-4 as opposed to Corporal, I know that not all branches understand the rank structure of other branches, so I figured I would make it somewhat easier. I apologize.
        To those who take exception to my opinion, I thank you for at least taking it into account and being mostly civil. As stated, I am young and did only serve a short time. I do not know what it is like to have served longer, and therefore my opinion is really based off of my own experiences and may not actually be a valid argument. I am humble enough to accept that.
        That being said, because I do not understand, I value the opinion of those who WOULD be adversely affected. Thanks for responding to me. I have a different view of it now, and will adjust my opinion on the matter accordingly. I was not trying to stir up anything, only giving my side of it. I can understand that it would be devastating to some, and not as devastating to others. Regardless of how it would affect me personally, I spend my free-time advocating for veterans and was playing the "devil's advocate" in this discussion. I need to hear all sides before I take a stand on the situation.
        Again, thank you for your time.

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

      • milretdude1995 says:

        Well said Doug Jones … and thanks for your service and tours in Vietnam.

      • Thank you for your service to your country. My husband is a VietNam-era veteran, but he never went to Nam. If he had had orders, he would have been on the next flight, but for reasons known only to the Pentagon, he was sent to a remote site in Alaska instead. We have tremendous respect for those of you who DID go, and who so totally earned the minimal benefits you now receive.

      • I even forgot about what you're saying here, Doug! I went to see a church member in a hospital here in San Antonio that caters to folks who don't have insurance. Most of the people in that emergency waiting room probably weren't even citizens of this country. yet they can get free health care where congress is looking to cut our benefits. hmmmm.

    • Please check my comment below. I am uncomfortable with the idea that tricare is considered a "charity." It is a legitimate entitlement and especially important to an all-volunteer military service.

    • Ed, I am retired at 50% base pay after 21 years of Naval Service, and I agree with your take on the entitlement attitude. However, politicians being the predictable animal they are, you can bet that the military will see an erosion of benefits, while more politically connected groups will continue to gather the same if not increased benefits. I have written to my elected representatives expressing my view that entitlements need to be cut, but do it across the board in the federal workforce, in a fair and impartial manner. Sadly, much of the federal workforce is represented by unions, while we are not. Thanks for your service and selflessness. Good luck in your future endeavors.

    • Are you attending college on the GI Bill?
      If so, you are taking advantage of the same benefit, not entitlement, as those on Tricare.
      Medical care insurance for retirees (Tricare) is a benefit in lieu of pay. It is not an entitlement. I was paid less in the military that I could have made in an equivalent civilian job and in exchange I was promised certain benefits like medical care for life (free) and the GI Bill.
      Get your facts straight marine before you take a position!

      • EdUSMCret says:

        SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
        I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • You must have been a subpar marine to only be an E-4 after 8.5 years of sevice. You are also very niave. There are some of us retirees that won't make it without affordable medical coverage. I may have to turn to the VA if Tricare keeps going up. I have heard horror stories about the VA Medical system that is why I rely on my Tricare. Then I have to figure out if my spouse can get decent medical care. You have alot to learn and going to school isn't going to teach you what you really need to know about career veterans sacrifices. You may have given some to your country, but you didn't give all like alot of us did.

      • I was promoted to Corporal (E-4) in 2005. I was injured about 2 months later, and they would not promote me to Sgt.(E-5) because I could not run and put on weight, and therefore did not meet the requirements to be promoted. They sent me to Parris Island to be a Marksmanship Instructor while I was on a medical board. I was on a medical board for a few years, and it held me past my EAS date. When all was said and done, I was discharged at 60%, and therefore retired. As far as using E-4 as opposed to Corporal, I know that not all branches understand the rank structure of other branches, so I figured I would make it somewhat easier. I apologize.
        To those who take exception to my opinion, I thank you for at least taking it into account and being mostly civil. As stated, I am young and did only serve a short time. I do not know what it is like to have served longer, and therefore my opinion is really based off of my own experiences and may not actually be a valid argument. I am humble enough to accept that.
        That being said, because I do not understand, I value the opinion of those who WOULD be adversely affected. Thanks for responding to me. I have a different view of it now, and will adjust my opinion on the matter accordingly. I was not trying to stir up anything, only giving my side of it. I can understand that it would be devastating to some, and not as devastating to others. Regardless of how it would affect me personally, I spend my free-time advocating for veterans and was playing the "devil's advocate" in this discussion. I need to hear all sides before I take a stand on the situation.
        Again, thank you for your time.

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

      • Being a long term E4 does not make anyone subpar. The promotion standards have changed several times in just the last 10 years alone. My husband started out as a reservist in 2001, promoted to SPC by 2003. No slot within his unit meant he stayed a SPC. He reenlisted for active duty in 2006 and is to this day still a SPC. Corporal for the army only means more responsibility and there has to be an open slot. He pinned corporal at his last duty station and lost it when he PCS'ed since there isn't a slot here. His promotion is based on points, his MOS has been at 798 for most of his AD Career and he only has just under 600 due to being on permanent profile and not being able to take a regular PT test. He is not subpar in any way, has deployed, is highly decorated for his rank and has helped many in ranks above him to further their own careers, so watch what you say Chief, you may be generalizing.

        • Navy Chief (Ret) says:

          Susan, Do not confuse active duty with reserves. Promotion in the reserves is tougher because they are pegged to within their relatively small units. Active duty however are/should be competitive with the entire enlisted active duty community which provides them a better promotion opportunity, especially at the lower (E4, E5) enlisted ranks.

          • ET Chief (ret) says:

            Chief, you can't compare the rating structure of the Navy with that of the USMC or the Army. We, in the Navy, were not required to have an open billet at our command to make rate, just a billet throughout the entire Navy, in our rating. As you know, in some ratings it was easier, than in others, to make rate. Comparing the rating structure of the Navy to the other service's is like comparing apples and oranges.

          • I am in no way confused, my husband was originally a reservist and is now Active Duty, which I abbreviated as AD above. He has been a specialist for 6 years now because points are too high in his current MOS to attain promotion since he has a permanent profile and cannot take a regular PT test. This in no way makes him subpar. Why are you assuming I was confused about active duty versus reserves? Did you not read my entire reply before making your own reply?

          • AND promotion opportunities are better during wartime too. At least that is my understanding (I am only a spouse). I know Air Force has slower promotions for enlisted than Army. My husband says rank is easier to get in the Army but also easier to lose (busted) than Air Force. Would love to hear your opinion about this.

        • Susan,

          Active duty promotions are very different than the Guard or the Reserves. In the latter two, you have a target grade that you can reach based on the position that you are in and according to the unit manning document. If there is no position for you to be promoted into than you don't get promoted. Most of these retired members are referring to active duty where a person had to have had something go terribly wrong to be an E4 at 8 years. They are not in any way looking down on Guard members or reservists that have a different promotion system.

          • And if you read my entire posting, you will see that my husband has been active duty now for 6 years and is still sitting at the E4 PAY GRADE, not RANK, his RANK is Specialist. It is NOT harder for a reservist when active duty is based on points that are unachievable. In my husband's MOS, his points are at the max, most Specialists have fewer points than he does. In other MOS's they are making rank to E5 with no issue, but he cannot due to the points required. I am in no way confused about the different promotion standards for reserve and active duty, and thought that I thoroughly explained in my original response.
            Thank you all for your service, but please do not put someone down for being at a certain rank for a certain period of time without knowing why. Sometimes, there is a reason! I am also aware that after the 10 year AD mark(short for Active Duty since it seems to have been missed in my above remarks) he must re class into an MOS that will allow a promotion with his current points or be cut.

      • I think it is very unfair chief to say that a person is subpar after 8.5 years to only make E-4 without having all the facts! I retired from the Navy after 20 years as an E-6 and was in fact a straight 4.0 sailor! Does this make me subpar? The fact was that the rate closed up at he E-5 level and I had to wait for it to open up again before going any higher! So maybe you ought to cut the kid some slack chief or at the very least recognize that he did give some as did you. Those who gave all never lived to make these arguments, god bless them!!!

        • Although I don't necessarily agree with the Chief, I believe our young Marine went out of his way to provoke a large number of retirees such as myself. I replied to Susan above and when I said something must have gone terribly wrong to be an E4 in today's military at 8 years does not mean the something that went terribly wrong had to necessarily be his fault. I will tell you that promotions are faster now than in the past due to the first term/career ratio flip-flopping and allowing higher numbers of E-6 through E-7 to serve.

      • SSgt. Wilkes says:

        Chief, that's hitting below the belt.

    • Sue Cruise says:

      My husband was in the US Army for 30 years did two tours in Vietnam, injured in Vietnam on a Firebase, came home never griped about his service to our country. Yes he was promised some benefits, but as a military wife there was no overtime pay, raising our children alone most of the time while he was in the field or Korea or Vietnam, we have been married 49 years this coming June and we are up in age and our government promised this to these veterans who served 20 and 30 years. All we ask for is a decent health insurance and we are greatful for my husband's military retirement pay. Each month when I look on the computer and see my husband's retirement check I lay my hands on the computer and say "thank you Lord" we are blessed.

      • JWernecke says:

        Amen Sue. I served 25 years in the USAF, and did 2 tours in SEA as well. I never got shot at, but I believe I earned my benefits. I too say thank you Lord when I get my retirement check. My wife is in a nursing home due to a brain tumor, and resulting infection. Tricare paid her bills till last year, when we forced onto tricare for life. They wouldn't pay for the nursing home and the bills piled up to $90k before I could swallow very hard and get her on medicaid. WE ARE ENTITLED TO ALL OF OUR MILITARY BENEFITS! I called my congressman and asked for help last year, got nothing but BS. Pray Obama gets put out of work!

        • Sue Cruise says:

          I agree with you whole heartly, when my husband would go to Vietnam, I would take my children and go back home and the hospital bills and doctor bills would mount up if my children or I became ill. we only had Champus years ago and the hospitals and doctors made you pay the balances on your bill after champus paid. We paid out of the pocket for medicines etc. I felt so isolated at times and lonely when my dear husband would have to leave us. I try not to get resentful now because of what the government is doing to our Veterans while our Congressman are living high off of the hog. There is not a day that passes that I don't forget to pray for our soldiers because I know prayer changes things and IT CAN TURN THIS COUNTRY AROUND FOR THE BETTER. I too have written our congressman one time but got no response. I still am glad and proud to be the wife of a soldier and always will be. Sir I will pray for you and your dear wife. Don't give up and TRUST IN THE LORD AND HE WILL GUIDE AND DIRECT YOU. GOD BLESS

      • Thank you BOTH for your sacrifice and service. I am a spouse, but my husband was not sent to Nam, for the needs of the Air Force came first, and they needed him elsewhere. I am grateful for that. We are also grateful for what we have, but we think it is unfair to reduce or remove it. For new enlistees, they can offer fewer benefits, but they need to be told before they enlist so they can make their career decisions, just as we did. Pulling the rug out from under us now is unfair, and as someone else said, a breach of contract and a breach of faith the US government had with us.

    • I was promoted to Corporal (E-4) in 2005. I was injured about 2 months later, and they would not promote me to Sgt.(E-5) because I could not run and put on weight, and therefore did not meet the requirements to be promoted. They sent me to Parris Island to be a Marksmanship Instructor while I was on a medical board. I was on a medical board for a few years, and it held me past my EAS date. When all was said and done, I was discharged at 60%, and therefore retired. As far as using E-4 as opposed to Corporal, I know that not all branches understand the rank structure of other branches, so I figured I would make it somewhat easier. I apologize.
      To those who take exception to my opinion, I thank you for at least taking it into account and being mostly civil. As stated, I am young and did only serve a short time. I do not know what it is like to have served longer, and therefore my opinion is really based off of my own experiences and may not actually be a valid argument. I am humble enough to accept that.
      That being said, because I do not understand, I value the opinion of those who WOULD be adversely affected. Thanks for responding to me. I have a different view of it now, and will adjust my opinion on the matter accordingly. I was not trying to stir up anything, only giving my side of it. I can understand that it would be devastating to some, and not as devastating to others. Regardless of how it would affect me personally, I spend my free-time advocating for veterans and was playing the "devil's advocate" in this discussion. I need to hear all sides before I take a stand on the situation.
      Again, thank you for your time.

      Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
      MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • I understand where you are coming from; however, when one chooses to join the AF, as I did, instead of becoming a doctor as I had originally planned, one of the things you are told is "oh, by the way–we'll provide your medical benefits for the rest of your life". This was a nice "by-product" of my being a career pilot in the AF. I didn't join because of the benefits but since they were promised I think they should continue. As one other blogger stated, it's a way of thanking all veterans for what they sacrificed, be it physical or monetary or emotional.

    • I served for 20 years, I've had multiple surgeries for different injuries, and I am now paying for it as I am older. You are a young man; wait until you get older and the pain and injuries starting showing themselves 100 fold, you'll change your mind! I too only wanted to serve but when you no longer have a full life because of these injuries, the employer needs to be held responsible for any injuries incurred during your position at that job.
      Semper Fi

    • Milton Leake says:

      Well said. Thank you for your service and success in your future endeavors.
      I believe means testing for benefits is a reasonable approach to help reduce the deficit, including means testing for civilians who receive government benefits from whatever source.
      I also feel fortunate for the retirement that I receiveafter twenty years' service – three surface ships, thrree submarines and two tours of shore duty. I also worked in industry for twenty years after retring from the Navy.
      LCDR, USN (RET)

      • thank you also for your years of service. Means-testing sounds great in theory, but just because someone is $10 a month over the cut-off does not mean they can afford to pay for their medical care. You were an officer, so maybe your benefits mean less to you than they would to an enlisted retiree who depends on that pension to pay his bills, or TriCare to pay for his doctor visits and prescriptions. Do you also have insurance available to you after your 20 years in industry? Did that company come through for you? Are those benefits means-tested? No, you earned them! Do you just have enough investments, savings and pension benefits that the Navy benefits are a negligible part of your budget? Because for many of us ithey are a MAJOR part of ours!

    • This is what you get for putting a businessman in charge of the military. Congressmen should have served a period of time in the military before entering into an position of "control" over an organization they know nothing about. I don't see Congress looing at the $15k per month, free healthcare, etc that they receive once they retire. Retirees/veterans gave so these morons could be free to run a country…what a shame.

    • RMC, USN (Ret) says:

      Thank you for your service Ed. But you're of a different generation than the majority of current retirees. Those of us who served in the last century worked for pennies, and regularly saw retirement and health care benefits dangled in front of us as re-enlistment incentives. So after this carrot and stick treatment for 20 or more years, we sorta get upset at the erosion of military retirement benefits. We never signed up for benefits either. But hopefully – after this little explanation – maybe next time you will consider the issue from a little farther outside your own box.

      • I totally agree. I was only playing devil's advocate. Thanks for your reply

        • I guess being the Devil's advocate is all well and good but with your attidude and prespective it may not be the best thing to represent Vets, or advise them. Just like it is not a good thing for the people who get full benifits for life after a two year job and they can only get better and never worse. Danger of getting hirt are very low. Go figure.

      • MMCM(SS)RET says:

        MMCM(SS)RET here I don't recall any promises early in my career – in fact it wasn't a career (in my mind) till I had over 10-12 years in.
        But, during that time I saw many benefits come and go, change, etc. But, we have no union as Civil service does – so we are not represented in the court system as Civil Service is.
        So we are at the disposal of congress and the president.
        Don't expect the R's or D's to come to the risque, they are not on our side! We are expendable!

    • When I worked for the VA a lot of my patients were WWII vets. They were always apologetic for coming in but now they were retired, on fixed incomes and without adequate health insurance. When they apologized I would turn around and say: This is not an entitlement. It is prepaid health insurance. You paid with your service to our country."

    • Dear Vet, First – Thank you for your service. Much has changed since the days of the draft and our volunteer armed force. Back then we were promised a retirement and medical care in our retirement days. If not the government would have probably ended up with not enough regulars at a time when potential hot wars were breaking out in most parts of Asia/Africa and would have inexperienced 2x6ers (reservists) to fill the ranks. We were not the fast attack force of today.
      For a person is in his 70's it would be quite hard to duplicate the coverage that up to now has been offered in the TRICARE package. The promises that were given to me and my fellow servicemen back in the day have been slowly eroding since my retirement in 1979. To us old guys it is like someone supplied us a life boat and then just left us to drift. I just recently had two bouts with cancer that left me minus a kidney and a prostate. I would not have been able to finance that surgery if I had to pay out of pocket and after one reached 70 insurers are very reluctant to cover you at any price.

      • Thanks for the reply. I am only looking for an argument against the comment I posted. I am young and needed the other side of the argument.

    • If only our Congress would take on your ideology. Semper Fidelis

    • Mrs J.T. Shorten says:

      May I say a word or twoabout the reduction in benefits we recieve? My husband of 48 years passed away in 2006. I am still kicking at the age of 76. Will be 77 in April. While I was in morning, I was a victim of identiy theft. Without the benefits of what my husband set up for me, I would be totally on the streets. I do have Medicae but in these times the two benefits put togather just barely make ends meet. I live in a trailer that was built about 50 year ago. And it ain't cheap. My Sailor was in WW2, Veitnam and Korea. I think I deserve to hear better comments about our Military Veterans including you after all the sacrifices our men give. Think about it before you write another comment. Mrs J T S USN

      • I am sorry if my comment offended you, but I was only playing devil's advocate in this comment. I need the other side of the story so I know how to form my opinion on this topic. I do a lot of advocating for vets, and wasn't sure how this would affect our older vets and those who depend on it. I am sorry for your loss, and hope all is well. Thank you for your comment. Semper Fi

        • I really hope with all of my heart that you are simply bragging when you say that you are an advocate for vets. I say this because your comments you entered here were hurtful and mean spirited towards a group of the best that America has to offer. Whether you like it or not, the US military is one of the last bastions of respect, honor, and service to their fellow Americans and you should always look at those that gave their lives either through death or service) with the deepest gratitude. I really do hope that you don't have access to any of our vets that really do need an advocate.

        • you sound like a politician, sorry your changing your story, want to believe you are sincerer, but haven't met a politician yet that is….

    • Retired Army NCO says:

      regardless of your rank, how long you served or chapter you retired under, you still wore the uniform. that said, when you give your life to the military and support it with all your power, then they should honor the agreements when took the oath. i joined during Vietnam and left in mid 90s after Desert Storm. I was told free medical and dental for life if i retired. i did, but the free stuff isn't there as promised and my retirement isn't all that great, but I am getting it as well as my disability. used to we had free gyms, free auto crafts and wood craft shops, and other stuff. now they want to charge for all. but the medical and dental are the big items. i pay roughly 6K out of pocket each year on something that I was promised to have provided when I retired. also, don't let politicians and smooth talkers convince you that the military should take the cuts. let those making triple and quadruple more in their salaries and get a lifetime retirement after 1 or 2 terms in office take some cuts. stop crazy spending in government and let those that served HONORABLY, get what they should. not continue to be the bill payer or scapegoat.

    • First, thank you for your service and the personal sacrafices that you made. You are prime example of what this country truly stands for and that is someone that gets knocked down but chooses to get up and continue in lieu of letting someone else take care of you. You have already earned your way into society with your service but have chosen to work even harder. Now having said that, here me out. The issue for me and I believe most of us isn't a cry for our entitlements but the fact that this current president is willing to cut anything he can other than trying to renovate the entitlement programs. He willing, knowingly will spend money this country doesn't have, raise the debt limit beyond oour GDP and when he runs into a financial crisis… lets cut the military, lets cut national defense. This is the issue. I too am willing to pay if TRICARE is increased but we truly need to make some changes in our congress and in our White House. Wealth re-distribution has never worked in any country or in any form and it won't work here. Sooner or later we will run out of options and our economy will collapse. As for you, God bless you with an abundant life. We need more men and women like you.

    • BrianTee Ph.D. says:

      I agree we all have perceived entitlements. HOWEVER, the POTUS and member of Congress have a far more generous package for ALL that they accomplish. Let those in power "lead by example" when it comes to diminished benefits. When people thank me for my service I am shocked. Patriotism aside I actually received pay. When I was a young Boy Scout I had to pay to go to the woods. While I am annoyed that I must pay more for Tricare–I also realized that it is on a non-sustainable path. Many promises made to Americans will not be kept. Part of the argument made for the small monthly retireement was the medicals benefits for life. The biggest problem is that our nation's "leaders" are either unwilling or incapable of doing so.!

    • You need to check out ALL the entitlements that seemingly are NEVER cut – those of our elected officials who have done NOTHING compared to what you've accomplished. Get them to CUT their medical and other entitlements in the name of loyalty to country before asking/making our vtes cut theirs.

    • SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
      I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

      • Navy Chief (Ret) says:

        It sounds like you are using these comments as just fodder for your blog. I find that totally offensive. If you want a history lesson I suggest you frequent your local VFW, Americal Legion or FRA and sit down and look these older vets in the eyes and LISTEN to their stories rather than assume you understand and throw out supposition just to elicit comments.

        • EdUSMCret says:

          "Fodder for your blog?"… I don't have a blog, and I honestly meant no ill-will in posting my comment. If I could remove it, I would. That being said, it is important to hear both sides, and respect each side the same.

    • My husband served 32 years in the Coast Guard. Not only did he serve, but I stayed home and worked for 31 years allowing him to SERVE OUR COUNTRY. We are getting what he WORKED for. You may call it entitlements, thats ok. So, you were wounded in Iraq. I am sorry for that, but you knew what you were risking, the same as my husband when he was called up for Desert Storm, Haiti, Iraqi Freedom. What are you going to call receiving Social Security when and if you reach that age? I worked over 40 years and I paid into the system. Call that entitlement too, if you like. I call it getting what the Government put into place and took my money for all these years. We are retired and we deserve what we worked for. God says, "no work, no eat".

    • VoixVelour says:

      2.5 Million Federal Employees; 25% at salaries at and above $100K. More likely to DIE ON THE JOB than be fired or laid off. Compare and contrast: authorized job slots of military personnel and ranks of all branches of service within them are established by Congress. "Continuation Boards" are now to be convened to whittle down officers of rank of Captain and Major by targeting those who were passed over for promotion twice at 18 yrs and thereby SAVE the costs of EARNED ENTITLEMENTS to RETIREMENT and PENSIONS.

      As you progress in educational curriculum, EdUSMCret, you may have an appreciation of the concept of earned rewards as basically reciprocal respect for those who gave so much, the blood, limbs and lives, and the lives of their families as well. It is not about "money," or "benefits." It is about fairness and respect and moral conscience. Qualities having eroded in our political arenas.

    • I served 22 years in the US Navy and depend on the health care that was promised to me after retirement. You speak about how the country is in bad shape with all the entitlements just think about it. Food stamps and Welfare are entitlements that should be removed from the books first as most of the people on them refuse to work and most are quite capable of working a job. I spent 22 years of missing family and sacrificing my time and loving to do it to this Great Country (maybe not so great now) with the current administration spending our country to ruins. You need to get a grip whomever you are.

      • EdUSMCret says:

        SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
        I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • IF I had put 8 years in I'd feel differently perhaps. I basically spent my adult life for 30 years in the service. I have never felt guilty about receiving the benefits i was promised. I didn't negotiate for them like unions do, I was just promised them in exchange for my service and possibly my life.

      • EdUSMCret says:

        SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
        I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • Thank you for sacrifice. You have a good attitude about it all especially when you feel you have to work for what you have. You gave 8 and a half years of your life which gives you time to restart your civilian life. you have military benefits that will help you more than your civilian counterparts and deservedly so. As you say, we cannot blame government officials who are doing this because it was Boner Boehner and his obdurate tea party cronies who want drastic cuts in spending so their rich masters can continue to get richer so everone who is not a rich person must suffer. I served 24 years (1964 – 1988, 1776 southeast asia duty days and 4 years in central america) and when I got out had to restart a civilian career (I had two kids to get through school). My medical, retirement pay, and educational benefits allowed me to get a degree and make a have a decent living. I could not have done it with only my retirement pay.

    • Oh yes – let's take money and benefits from our veterans who have given so much to this country and give it to all the freaking crack heads and welfare recipients who have never worked a day in their life. Great plan – and then we wonder what is wrong with this nation.

    • Congressmen and Senators are elected to serve their country. They are not deployed, put in harms way, separated fropm their fasmilies for extended periods of time. Yet they earn a full benefits package after only 5 years on the job. Our service men and women have earned the right to expect a little compensation from their government. Especially when the folks in charge have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on welfare and social secutiry for those that are just too lazy to go out and work. I would rather see my tax money go to those thate are truly deserving.

    • Devil Dog, I completely respect you opinion and understand your position. I also thank you for your sacrifice and am sorry to hear about your injuries. I would like to ask you to consider this however:
      I have served this country for 21 years of active duty with 12 of those in the special operations arena. I have served in Iraq, the Balkans and many other "garden spots". I have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, parachute injuries, etc. It is a slap in the face to suggest my rates for health care should be based upon my rank. Nobody "gave" me my rank. I earned it every step of the way. I was not elected to it nor was it given based upon years in service. The administration cannot have it both ways: on one hand saying we have all sacrificed equally but on another saying those of us who have struggled to achieve a higher rank should pay more than others. That is tantamount to punishing achievement. The amazing quality of force we have presently in the US military will not last long with such disincentives to achievement. Like you, I just offer this up for consideration. And again, thanks for your sacrifice. We veterans need to stick together through all of this.

    • SSgt. Russell Wilkes says:

      Your attitude is commendable. We all signed the same contract and as long as we were expected to fulfill our obligation our country should be expected to do the same. The medals you were awarded were earned as are the entitlements you were promised. We have sacraficed so it is reasonable to believe that other's including Congress should sacrafice also. We are all in this together and the military should not have to bear the sole burden of righting this ship.

    • stillserving1991 says:

      Well it appears to me you are going to school on a VA benefit, free, getting a 90% VA benefit and retirement and you are stating you only went into the military for the country. I am sure at the time of enlistment what you will receive as a member of the military. I went into the military for my country also, but with any job, you are given retirement pay and benefits that you work for. My husband retired after 20yrs and he should receive the benefits he was promised as well as I since I am military with 20yrs service. You are making out because of your military service and would not be going to school on someone elses dime unless you recieved these benefits. You work hard at a job for 20yrs or more you should feel entitled to your benefits for your service. You can say what you want because you are getting the goods. If you had done 8.5 years in a civilian position you most likely would not get paid for school, you wouldn't get a retirement pay only probably disability. I am disappointed you do not think the men and women who put in alot for their country shouldn't expect their entitlement. Get real.

    • EDUSMCret, Thank you for your sacrifice as I too enlisted to serve!

      However, our corrupt politicians MUST also take a cut in benefits!

    • retired19k4xa8 says:

      Thank you for your service to our country, I to served our country, for 20 years, so you can freely voice your ignorant opinion. But I get where you are coming from, what you need to do hero, is, give back all the retirement pay you have received. Then turn down your disability it’s not a mandatory thing, you can just say I have no disability, but you won’t your hands went out for an easy paycheck. You say you joined the military to serve your country not any benifets. I believe the pay you are receiving is as you say a benefit. What you don’t seem to neither see nor understand is the taking becomes more and more once they start to take, before long there will be nothing left to take.

    • G. Murphy says:

      Now I know why you never got promoted to E-5 in 8 year's

      • EdUSMCret says:

        Actually, you have no idea. I posted it before, but here you go again…

        SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
        I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

        Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/tri
        MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com

    • I aggree with you young man, but when I joined the military 40 plus years ago, the promise of free medical, and dental for not only you but your dependants for life was a promise made to us. So, I am some what dissa pointed in our congressional leadership for not upholding there end of the bargain. So, although I applaud you comments, I have to hold our elected leaders accountable for their actions.

    • Luis Ruiz says:

      y ou signed on the line because you wanted to so of us had no choice. Have you ever herad of the draft. It was either sign or go to jail.

    • I agree that everyone should be willing to sacrifice but if you noticed, they are talking about the military only, not the civilian employees and this is where I find it a problem. This should be about all government employees, not just the military.

      • Civilian employees NEVER sacrificed like veterans! THEY should be cut, not vets who depend on benefits they were promised after risking their lives for YEARS!

    • SpaceChief says:

      My sentiments exactly, EdUSNCret. You are a true patriot. Obviously, there are numerous ways the federal budget could be cut. But if the DoD is to take a huge cut, then we should try to take care of our own. I have proposed that us senior ranking retirees on Tricare For Life could afford to pay more for our care. Anything we pay for should go to younger, lower-ranking military retirees to help pay for their healthcare premiums. My heartfe;lt thanks for your service.

      • Are you FROM outer space? Paying more for Tricare for life on a fixed income to give to someone younger who is working as well as retired military? You can do that, but count me out!!!

    • God Bless You! Everyone who has served or is serving should have your attitude. Our benefits are being cut because many people think the government owes them everything including Aspirin , Tylenol and toothpaste. If we shared the cost we would keep our benefits much longer.You are totally correct we should serve for love of country not for what our country can do for us.

      • georgieboy says:

        Nancy, send in a check! As for me I don't like my patriotism questioned. I just like to see promises kept. And for all those who say it is not in writing it certainly is! Abraham Lincoln started it all.

      • Do you work for free? Do you plan to forfeit your Social Security and other pension benefits? Then the government , and your employers, wouldn't owe you for your toothpaste. You are a nutcase! No one works strictly for the nobility of it all.

    • One of the first things that I learned when I joined the Army was "Get it in writing" If it wasn't in writing then don't count on it. When you retired or ETS'd what was current law could change, and more than likely will

    • robbyrock says:

      I disagree strongly. Every retention briefing members received throughout their careers at their time of reenlistment included a promise of health care at retirement. I know because I was a Retention manager. These cuts are needed because of reckless domestic spending to obtain votes. These cuts are a breech of contract to all service members who retired. Politicians do not respect the service of veterans, and it's despicable.

    • mr_peabody says:

      If you want to do another "above and beyond" why don't you just sent DOD or Obama a check for your feeling good? As for me, I am a 21 year vet and I put in alot of hard work and took alot of risks over those years and when it came to an end the DOD took back much of what we were promised and now wants even more. I feel sorry for you. Being an 8 year E-4 must have taken alot of work and praise from your superiors.

    • David Torres says:

      I am a 28 year veteran who made a decision to serve my country as a career. At my 6 year point, I was sat down and explained all the benefits that I would receive if I continued to serve my country as a career NCO. These benefits did not seem to come close to what I believe I could have made as a civilian. The pay received in my day was a fraction of what I could have been made in the civilian sector. Each enlistment, I sat down with a career adviser and weighed my options and still, I chose to serve my country because that was what I believed in. In a civilian position, I may have made more money, I may have received a substantial 401K, I may have even been able to be with my family and watch my daughters grow up each and every day. But, I chose to remain true to my country and gave them 100% for 28 years. Now my country just wants to say thank you for serving, good luck with your next job to supplement my retirement and receive quality healthcare. In my opinion, that is not the American way. I agree we need to make adjustments, and I am for that, but the United States service member has been making sacrifices since before the revolutionary war and has never asked for more than what their country promised them.

    • Yes, that is why my husband enlisted DURING VIET NAM! However, he was promised at EVERY reenlistment that this medical coverage would be PART of his Pension Benefits! It was not a gift or a handout. Did you know that doctors get a bigger capitation rate for MEDICAID patients than they do for TriCare? That means veterans of 20+ years, or those disabled by war, are worth less consideration than those on welfare, who don't contribute anything at all. What gratitude from our government. Oh yeah, the Medicaid recipients and illegal aliens are the ones who vote to keep the Democrats in office and handouts coming. They have to pay to keep their constitutency!

    • Dear Sir, my hsbnd is retired AF, and he was promised certain benefits, that is why folks stay in till retirement. You are correct in your assessment of people nowadays, we will adjust but what about the seniors older than us?
      Thank you for your service, blessings, T

    • con-obama says:

      Hey pal, it's not about the cuts, it's about what the jerkoff in D.C. is doing to our military period! Do you think it's right to be cutting our force when our worst enemies are gearing up for a war? I think you way too nieve about sevrving for the benefits. They're part of the contract for putting your life on the line for your country.

    • Ticked in Tucson says:

      Do you want a "Thank You" for serving our country since you have a PH pinned to your chest? You also conveniently forgot to mention that you won't have to worry about going to a civilian doc since you are able to access the Veterans' Affairs hospital for the rest of your life, eh?!? Yes, I was not issued my wife and 2 sons; but, that, doesn't matter! Prior to any of this, my family was pushed off the base due to few docs and was "highly recommended" to see a civilian doc! I'm 90% disabled and I still have to visit a civilian doc due to some of the meds I require aren't available from the VA; but, available from the base pharmacy!! Go figure, eh?!?! Yes, I'm all for helping out the government as much as possible; but, with more people added to our "Melting Pot" and not working or capable to work, no wonder our forefathers are turning over in their graves seeing their hard earned Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid exponentially diminishing due to handouts to "non-Americans" not working a day in their lives!!! You just don't want to go there!!!! :|

    • Major Adams says:

      Spoken like an E4… You were in for 8.5 yrs and only made it to E4? You have a credibility problem young man. 30yrs, Viet Nam vet. Major, USA, Retired

    • Dear EdUSMCret,
      Thank you for serving and for signing up to serve our country. Many of the Veterans in this country were drafted, they had no CHOICE. At the age of 18 all males were required to register with the Selective Service boards. If you ran to Canada, went to college and got a deferment, or got married and had a kid, you got out of military service. My husband knew he would have to go in, and employers would not hire him because he hadn't served his military service. So, he chose the Navy, and served several tours in Vietnam, we met and I was a military wife. My husband made E6 in less than 5 yrs and worked very hard in his rate. Vietnam Vets were not treated well, he could not even wear his uniform to a lot of places. Once while waiting for a bus he had bottles thrown at him, was called a baby killer and spit on in his uniform. To this day, he cannot stand Fourth of July, because of air strikes, missions he did, but, you know what he has never rec'd compensation or tried to get compensation. He went on to work hard in his civilian job, and did return to finish his service in the reserve, 21 1/2 yrs. Many Vietnam Vets have died early deaths to do the exposure of chemicals, we lost one Marine friend at the age of 60, his organs shut completely down at the VA hospital. We have a Navy Enlisted who was awarded the purple heart & 2 Silver stars in Nam, and has never rec'd any compensation for his injuries. None of these guys had a choice, the guys that are now in signed contracts and chose service, they were not drafted. But, I believe if you stayed in, got hurt, serving, you are entitled to medical help.
      I encourage everyone to fight for those Veterans who served, and to allow better reimbursement to doctors that take our Vets. After, you turn 65 you go on Medicare, and the reimbursement from Tricare is almost nothing. We don't mind paying something but I don't call this an entitlement. Just think, most of legislators don't understand when they make the decision to go to war what this means for the country! Look at their compensation, they are career legislators getting the best medical, pension, etc, in the WORLD. Should the Veterans get anything else. You are only 31, you will live with those injuries for the rest of your life, what if you can't get the medical benefits you need?
      We seem to find money for big gov't, the rich, why, look at the loopholes in the tax system, they double dip plenty, and get security and everything paid for on the backs of the taxpayer. Don't be fooled, we have plenty of waste in tax codes, tax breaks for business, banks, and entitlements including convicted Felons. We have people who enter illegally and drain our education systems, hospitals, and prison systems. We can do better! We have people running for congress that have never served, they got the deferments and our commander in chief has not served. I don't know who to vote for, thinking more of the same, but am liking Paul, he is for less gov't, check out his website. He is starting to make a lot of sense. Take care, and again, thanks to all VETS for their service! God Bless the Veterans and their families.

    • BleedingPurple says:

      You are truely my hero. I'm sick to death of the number of prior military who seem to take a lot more than they gave. I too am an honorably discharged Marine veteran who wanted nothing more than a chance to serve the people of the United States while I grew as a man. I have no problem with those who suffered an on the job injury and we the people giving all the care possible. But way too many are getting assistance for things that happened to their body that is in no way related to their service.

    • I bet you are going to school for free, another entitlement!

    • I thought it was called a chapter 64 Disablity retirement I served 18 yrs 9 months and six days service In the USAF retired as an E 6 , let me know if it is chapter 61 or 64 , I agree retired members are going to take a hit , I use the VA for all my medical rarely do I use Tricare at the VA I see real doctors at the Ft Hood clinic I see PA,s my wife and son use a Tricare civilian doctor.

      Yours Jim Horak

      • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

        It is Chapter 61 – see definition below…

        What is a Chapter 61 retiree?

        A Chapter 61 retiree is anyone who was medically retired from military service with a 30% or greater VA rated disability.

        The term “Chapter 61” comes from the corresponding chapter in Title 10 US Code defining the different categories of medical separation and retirement. For example; if you were retired under 10 USC Sec. 1201, that means Title 10, US Code, Chapter 61, Section 1201; which states "Regulars and members on active duty for more than 30 days: retirement."

        How do I know if I am a Chapter 61 retiree?

        For recent retirees, block 23 is your type of separation and should read "Retirement" and block 28 is the narrative reason for separation and should say "Permanent Medical Retirement". For those with a previous version of the DD214 (Vietnam and before), this information can be found in blocks 11a and 11c respectively.

    • Yes you signed a contract. A lawful legally binding contract and so did the government. You didn't quit when the going got tough but the government does. Don't justify the actions of a few elite scumbags because of the noblest of sacrifices you have made. You are a man of your word, worthy of honor and respect. The Congress… the ruling elite, dung.

    • Retired Helo Pilot says:

      Ed,

      Right on. The country needs more people like you. The entitlement mentality of so many commenters here is pretty appalling. Everyone wants someone else to take the hit (i.e. other people's entitlements are waste while "mine" was earned). What would WWII, WWI and Civil War vets think of our benefits (and the whining about possibly losing a few of them)? We volunteered to do the job, knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Nobody owes us. We got paid while on active duty, had interesting jobs, met great people, and saw the world. Most of us didn't even see combat. What are we complaining about? DoD has been raking in the cash since 9/11 but those days are over. Cuts are inevitable so it's time to adapt like we've always done.

    • EVERY OPINION MATTERS MY BROTHER! Keep giving yours. We are all in this together. Imagine every military person(active,retired and discharged plus family) voting for one candidate. That's TREA and TROA in action.

    • Except for the fact that we ARE entitled! There is much waste in this country which should be addressed first. If "savings" actually are used to retire some of our debt I'm in, but any "savings" realized will be used to fund other needless programs as determined by a greedy Congress and its Lobbyists. I commend you for your service to this country, you are a
      1%er. Please look at this objectively, there is much more going on than meets the average person's eye. You can be a proponant for positive change, but you can't do that while giving away our hard earned entitlements and benefits. I served 26 years, and yes, I served for my country. I was also promised these benefits as well and will work tirelessly to keep them.; thank you.
      GI Joe

    • How about sending your comments to your Congressman and U.S. Senators after all they're the ones with the perks!

    • Ed, 20+ year retirees for the most part did not join or stay in for the benefits. Most of us did it for the same reasons you state, love of country, desire to serve and a love of our vocation. Our retirement benefit package is an "earned" benefit we worked and sacrificed for. We willing went anywhere we were ordered to go, spent time away from families and friends, shot at other human beings when required and basically put our lives on hold to maintain this countries freedom. I worked hard for my reirement, it is not an entitlement.
      When I retired as a senior NCO I found out the hard way that while I was sitting in Korea, dploying all over the world and eating dirt and mud in the infantry that my friends from high school were moving up the corporate ladder. After 20+ years of hands on leadership and management experience I was told by employers that my experience didn't count. Most had never served and look at retirees as "damaged goods". I have neighbors who have never held a job, let alone been in the military that receive all sorts of entitlements from the government all seemingly based upon their ability to procreate.

    • Right on, Little Brother!
      DrL

    • Retired Chief says:

      Your positon is 100% correct. I am a 50% disabled veteran, retired after 26 years active duty. The overall picture is that our country is in dire financial condition and I support efforts that would improve our finanacial state. I do not like the pending higher TRICARE costs for our retirees but feel they are part of the solution needed to relieve spirialing costs in all areas of government. I would much rather have a less entitlement paying government than a bankrupt one that would pay no entitlements. Our country needs our help and I stand with the ranks that will provide that help. Thank you for your service,your sterling positive attitude, and your continued service to our country.

  37. To EDUSM, et al…

    I like your spirit and your words Ed. I think many others would make similar comments IF ONLY (big if only) they felt like the sacrifice is being shared. When civilian gob'mint employes, politicians, staffs, et al., just keep getting fatter and fater pay and benefits……. it makes it tough to 'man up' and bear the burden by ourselves…

    If every swinging …. ah person…. currently drawing a gob'mint check for any reason – ALL took a five percent pay cut tomorrow — the outcry would be loud but not unbearable — but singling out the military, in the vernacular of my grandchildren ,,,,,,,,,,,,, sucks!

  38. Bill Jones says:

    When congress vote to cut military benifits I will VOTE AGAINST any body that in office. I no longer belong to one party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • No one should belong to one party, thats stupid. There sholdnt be a straight party vote. Every individual should should be voted on instead of a straight ticket.

  39. If they limit access to MTF's and the MD's quit seeing us, how are we going to get treatment?

  40. Is a retired E7 getting better medical service than a retired E6? Tier'd coverage? Really? Rediculous! Why does a persons rank have to be tied into medical costs as a retiree? It's bad enough active duty are stuck with that kind of nonsense with things like child care. So by working harder and progressing through the ranks you are penalizing yourself in the long run! When does the nonsense end?

    • Bill ret. E9 says:

      Silly fellow, haven't you heard of the distribution of wealth. Why our beloved fearless leader only the other evening in his SOTU message proclaimed that it was the job of our government to insure that we the wealthy must share part of the burden on those less fortunate.

      For all you Obama lovers out there, THIS IS YOUR HOPE AND CHANGE!.

      • They are not referring to "Tiered coverage" based on rank. Tier coverage on amount each person pays to Tricare based on your retired rank or current rank.

  41. Mike Gibbens says:

    It seems funny to me that we took an oath to defend this great country and the Constitution, The Congress and the President took and oath to do the same thing, however they are only giving it lip service, trying to break the Constitution at every turn, or claiming that it is an outdated document. To me if you take an Oath then break it you commit treason and should be dealt with accordingly.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Agree Mike, most of the Fat Cats in Washington should be charged with TREASON and run out of the country. We need TRUE Patriotic representation in Washington who will fight to the death to preserve the Constitution, just as the military, it's active duty and retired military members fight to the max to preserve American freedom. This seems to be a fact that is lost on the members of all of congress and the White House.

  42. James R Chapman says:

    Its a real shame that as long as our military is spending half their life moving around and fighting political wars, they are called Herod by the same bunch who now want to go back on their word – just like socialsecurity we all pay into for 50 years and the politicians steal for pet projects and now call it an entitlement. We know Obama hates the military do no surprise.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Yes, you are right, the military, like the retired veterans are useful only as long as we fight Washington's selected battles. (such as keeping America safe). We are truly seeing that they are not fighting OUR battles, and have turned their backs on us. They are traitors to us and should be eliminated from their elected posts. I keep voting to put them out, but continue to wonder if our votes are even counted

    • Obama wanted to help you by providing free health care to all citizens as other countries do. Please watch some netflix documentaries like "sicko", "sick around the world". It is very enlightening and convinced me that Americans are very brainwashed. Our taxes that we pay should come back to us in the form of social services. I don't believe wealthy people need tax breaks, I don't believe in corporate socialism and handouts while main street gets bulllied with words like, "entitlement", "socialism", "welfare losers", "social security is a ponzi scheme", "the country is broke". This is all lies. We're not broke. Did you know we pay Israel 3 billion per year to their military? Did you know that we were funding Israel's free healthcare system until 2007? Did you know that we have somewhere near 1,000 military bases in 150 countries? We spend more on our military than the top 10-20 other countries combined. It's insane. It's not Obama.

      • Right. So his adminstration refuses to allow means testing for Medicare which is basically an entitlement because payments in don't come close to covering benefits out. But he is willing to means test it for military retirees with no regard for length of service (if I served 32 years to earn my rank and benefits vice someone who retired under a periodically offered 15 year retirement, it is the same) only final rank. By the way, final rank, not total income. How exactly does that make sense…. And by the way, we are broke and the major driver of the expanding national debt is entitlement programs – specifically health care which Obama made worse with the costly bureacracy in his Obamacare solution…

      • Watch out what "facts" you use. Sicko by Michael Moore is no documentary; it is his spin to ridicule the U.S.A. The quick fix is to have a doctor and a military vet who served in Vietnam, as well as financial person run for president. One who has a 30 year record of putting America first. Dr. Ron Paul has a plan to cut the deficit in year one. One way is to allow you to by healthcare from anywhere in the US not just your state. 1,000 military bases over seas, Why? Dr. Paul would shut them all down. Stop the madness of sending 89 Billion in 2009, the last census data available, to all the nations in the world. Return social security to the trust fund, the way it started before Ronald Regan raped the funds to “balance” the budget.

      • All of the government workers, Congress, Senate, President should have the same plan for health care and retirement that the military have. Tricare as the only health care plan. TSP to supplement retirement. 20 years minimum to get a retirement at %50 and max at %75 of high three. And if you want to head the military you must serve 6 years in active duty in the E0 to E4 rank. No jumping ahead with your collage credit. After you have walked a few miles in our shoes, slept on the front line, had to eat our food in the chow hall, and had to spend time in the emergency room waiting 10-12 hours to be seen, then tell me how we are over compensated for our service. Raising our Tricare payments and cutting Dr. payments by %27 from the already below average will punish us. What have I done to be treated this way? 22 years of sacrifice of family and health. Shame on you.

  43. Jimmy Crisp says:

    It's time to vote everyone that is in Congress, the House or the White House out of office and start over. We have served out country and deserve medical care. There's alot of other spending that should be cut first. I hope this country votes the next four years and makes a change.

    • Jimmy – the real push needs to be term limits. Vote everyone out and you get a fresh crop of theives. Limit them to 4 yrs and they will serve the people to they were elected to serve (maybe). Right now they are in the business of staying in office to line there pockets with YOUR money.

    • Motormouse says:

      My reply is no member of congress more than 20 years. A member can not server no more than four terms in the House of Representatives and no more than two terms in the senate. No member is allowed to draw a retirement (that includes health care and all of the other bennies) unless they serve 20 years. Any pay increase congress has to be given by the governors at the governor’s conference and no more than COLA. I served 26 and proud of it. I move all over the country at low pay and not staying in one place long enough to by a house, and my kids told me they place they could really call home.
      I salute all that have served and most of all there families. The families are the real heroes.

  44. I agree with EdUSMCret's comments to the point that we did sign on to serve our country, and proudly have done so. However, the military should not be the only ones to sacrifice what we have earned. When Congress, federal employees, bureaucrats, our welfare system, and all government programs make across the board cuts, then I will gladly accept sacrifices. Until that time, don't mess with us. We struggle daily with doctor's bills, supplemental insurance payments, the risimg cost of living, minimal COLA's, house payments, chronic illnesses and fuel costs, to name a few of the challenges we face daily.

  45. Joined USN in 1962 – was told if I serve 20 years would be provided with full free medical care. Question – was that an implied contract with the United States Government? – Fast forward to when I turned 65 – now have medicare and tricare for "life" – not free but the cost in minimal so I do not mind paying the medicare premium. Also when I was on active the only difference in medical care was the type of ward or room you got. Another Question – Do providers who accept medicare also have to take tricare patients? I would ASSume so but the ASS in assume is a big assumption.

    Throw them all out – term limits – if the limits are OK for the president some sort of term limits should be OK for congress.

  46. I don't think most military see it as an entitlement, but rather the way our country THANKS those who volunteered to potentially give their lives for the USA.
    It is my gift to all who served, suffered and died.

  47. ernest warren says:

    once you are retired you should be treated equal no matter what rank or rate held when on active duty. let everyone in washington give a little and help pay for their medical. we should be equal with them. i am a retired e-7 and could not afford the cost of medical coverage with the incurable diease and my wife wife was operated on 5 months ago for cancer. what did i give 20 yrs for to support all the people in washington.

  48. I see some self-righteous people stating they did not serve for benefits or entitlements…great for you. Perhaps you should have handed that paycheck back twice a month, while on active duty as well as paying for all medical costs. If you are retired, refuse your legally earned benefits. After all, it was an entitlement. Listen, I do feel entitled. The def of entitlement is "A right to benefits specified by law or contract". Those on the conservative side (which I'm part of) better wise up when the Republicans scorn "entitlements". The problem lies when people feel they deserve an entitlement that provides a benefit that is not covered by law or contract and not earned via quid pro quo; that's not an entitlement, it's called a freebie (or leftist mentality). In the meantime, lawmakers should enact new laws for those serving in the future to adequately cover costs. I feel like a lumberjack is chip chip chipping away at our entitlements and benefits.

  49. Retired AF E-7 says:

    It's bad enough that there are not many doctors taking TRICARE since it only pays them 80% of Medicare rates; the companies that manage your region take the other 20% as their fee for managing you and your access to doctors. (No doctor wants a reimbursement less than the Medicare fee schedule rate. Medicare rates are the industry standard for determining fees reimbursed to doctors that are credentialed with insurance companies; most private insurance, BCBS, CIGNA, AETNA, UHC, pay more than the Medicare allowable). Let's cut off more access by making it harder for TRICARE to attract doctors to treat all beneficiaries (extreme sarcasm there folks). Might as well scrap TRICARE, go back to CHAMPUS and have us retirees swarm the MTF's like the 1980's and further back. Yeah, I was pissed before, this makes it more so. –

    • The problem with using MTF's is that all any facility has to say is "we can no longer support the retiree community" and your OUT. In my attempt a few times to use a local MTF years ago I learned this really fast. All that needs said is "we don't have the resources". 21 year Af retiree

  50. Congress needs to think hard about all decisions made for our Great Country. They ned to focus on the people not about their goals for themselves but for the country they took an oath for.

  51. Complete B.S. When's the attack on the easy target [Veteran's] going to stop? Sacrifice should be shared… Congress… all Government should take the hit and not just Retiree's. Many retiree's of working age aren't "Working" so the myth we're rolling in cash is just that, a myth. Tiered enrollment fee's are ridiculous… as many have said is the care going to be tiered as well? A lot of people are forced to use the base if you're nearby, if you're not and provider's reduce the TRICARE patients they see, we're really in a bind. I say make lot's of noise in the coming year to let Congress know, they created this mess, they're not going to fix it once again on the backs of Veteran's.

    • CPO Retired says:

      How much noise would you like to make, Steve??
      Do you seriously believe that by complaining to Congress, things will change do you?
      Congress makes all the rules whether we like them or not. Voting these people in or out will never change anything since they only serve themselves.
      It is fairly obvious that Panetta does not care about the military retirees if he is advocating benefit cuts. He is obviously concerned about making himself the hero for saving money and his boss the president will take the credit for it.
      Meanwhile all of us retirees will pay for more broken promises.
      Don't you feel like an Indian right about now … betrayed!!!

  52. If they will just wait a couple of years there won't be enough retires left to worry about. Meanwhile all the millionaire congressmen keep wasting the taxpayers money for pet projects and such. It's time for a change in Washington. That is our only hope for survival.

  53. moose_beit says:

    I may have missed it but I dont believe so, has Congress given up anything yet for the good of the nation, I didnt think so.

  54. I KNOW HOW THE WIFE AND I ARE GOING TO VOTE THIS NOV.

  55. CSM Retired says:

    Whatever happened to "Grandfather Clauses"? Why are we targeting the military and not the members of the legislative, judiciary and executive branches?

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      I think an organized march on Washington is in order by the Veterans of our great country. Maybe we could set up tents and live on the steps of washington. Heck, it works for all those people who don't feel they have to work like the rest of us. Even the big "B" Pelosi praised/endorsed that action. Let's go!!

  56. Linda Pierce says:

    My Husband enlisted in 1960 and was promised free medicalfor himself and his family members. In the 90′s we saw all this disappear because Congress decided that we had to pay for our medical. As the years go by everything gets worse. First we were promised certain payments for our medicine which have gone up and now there are medicines I have to pay for myself and all of my generics are full price. Let some of these Congress members travel every year or so to a new base on their own money and get reembersed after the fact and live in housing that is so old that the heat only heats to 59 degrees in below 0 weather and be treated like a leper because you are a wife. My parents were also in the service so i have been blessed all around. Wake up Congress

  57. I to served 22yrs in the Marine Corp. I joined because of duty to country and for the benifits. At that time we were told medical would be provided. Now lets take it away. Those in Congress get better care than those that served and yet they don't have to pay out of pocket. Lets vote to have them pay out of pocket and see how quickly they change there tune.

    • CPO Retired says:

      Voting to change congressional decisions is a ridiculous concept!
      They and they alone make the rules. Certainly you don't seriously believe that the untouchables on capitol hill will do anything that will upset their personal benefits. They enacted those benefits for themselves … probably as line items to some other bill … and they will reap them forever.
      Your votes mean nothing in this regard because no one is able to control or regulate the congress. They all talk a good line when they want our votes and then when they are in, they all fall into lockstep with their cronies.
      Good Luck!!

  58. Hutch, USMC (Ret.) says:

    Just another example of anti-military sentiment on the part of the Obama regime.If the Democrats keep screwing around with military retirement benefits, there will be no need to reduce manpower strengths. Recruitment & retention will be reduced to the point that the all volunteer military will be a thing of the past.

    • Chuck. USArmy (Ret) says:

      Benefits for military retirees have been on the chopping block with every administration. Pointing at Obama and democrats is absurd.

      • so that's a good reason?
        What happened to 'no more politics as usual'????

        oh yeah…..that

      • Navy Chief (Ret) says:

        While retiree benefits have been on the chopping block through multiple administrations (Rep & Dem) this is the only time that the fear of losing, or severly limiting Tricare acceptance has gotten this close to reality. The promised lifetime medical is a fallacy with the end run being waged by the Obama administration. They aren't taking away your medical, but they are aiming at making it impossible to use and driving working retirees to more expensive and less flexible employer based medical care.

      • COL USAF RET says:

        They may have been on the chopping block, but the axe never fell. With the Obama and present dems , it is absurd!–this time the axe is definitely going to fall. Maybe they–Obama and the dems need to be reminded as to who save their butts—so they could become our representatives in the high offices of this country.

      • CharlesBryant says:

        Chuck,

        Yep.

    • MrsLfromTexas says:

      Hey, read the "Military Offficers Assn of America" short article. The name is highlighted above in this article. YOu will see it is the Republican Congress that wants these cuts! The President's administration is trying to get the highly wealthy of this country to pay their dang share of taxes like everyone else and then we can have the $$ to pay for the Tricare etc. YOu all need to read more and look up stuff. Go to BarackObama.com and see what they are trying to do. The President isnt Antimilitary, you sound ridiculous.
      YOu just refuse to read about what they are really trying to do and that is save the middle class, help the veteran and active duty and get the greedy of this country richie riches to pay their taxes in accordance to us who pay.
      Why should they pay 15% on millions and we can pay 30%? how is that fair? Go read. It will help you.

      • Mrs L. I see you drank the class warfare Kool Aid. I spent 30 years in the AF and retired with 80% disability. My disability pay is subtracted from my retirement pay. I lived within my means and invested in the stock market in anticipation of supplementing my retirement some day. I consider myself to be a member of the middle class and pay my share of taxes. If my capital gains taxes on my investments rise above 15% because you guys think I ought to pay my "fair share," it's really going to tick me off. How about we work on the 47% of Americans who don't pay taxes and live off the rest of us, and get them to pay their way a little bit. Maybe if they had some skin in the game, they wouldn't feel so "entitled" and downtrodden. Oh, and I'd like to be the one who gets to decide what the definition of rich is. I'd start with someone who can afford a computer, a smart phone with all the bells & whistles and a satellite driven big screen TV.

        • Andy, you are two bricks short of a full load if you think we believe that your 50% disability pay is subtracted from your military retirement. You see, George Bush signed a bill that allows retirees 50% or above disability to draw their disability and their retirement just as civil service personnel have done for decades. So don't give us a sob story about how hard things are.

        • I retired and have a 50% rating and they don't subtract that from my pay. Better look at your pay statement again. Anything over 50%, you get a spend down for a few years, mine is like at $3.00 and will be gone next year, so look at your statement and find out what is going on.

        • CharlesBryant says:

          Andy,

          Yeah, and many get back more then they ever paid in.

        • What kind of smoke are you trying to blow? If you are not receiving concurrent receipt I'd be asking why.

        • Andy, Haven't you heard about concurrent receipt of disability pay (CRDP). You should be drawing your disability pay and most of your retirement pay.

      • capncraigagain says:

        15% vs 30%? Get real. They paid 30% on wage income, just like anybody else. 15% tax rate is on Capital Gains: which means a tax on the interest earned, profit from investments and the like.

        The biggest scam is not explaining the fact that they cannot get any deductions for Capital Loss.

        Just like gambling at a casino, you would pay taxes on your winnings, but get no break from your losses.

        It was the DEMOCRATS that put the 27% reimbursement cuts to Medicare and Tricare BEFORE the Republicans took back the House, which wasn't until January of 2011. It was part of OBAMACARE!

        It is the REPUBLICANS that have been stalling the execution of the cuts.

      • Remember the 15% Capital Gains tax is this low to encourage people of all incomes to buy stock and invest in the USA. This is not a plot but a payback to those who are willing to risk money to benefit the whole economy (like invest in company's that hire new employees, etc). Maybe you need to do some reading !
        Agree with the comment from Andy… we have about 45% of the folks in this country pay Zero income tax. What is their "fair share" (a lovely Democrat term these days) ?

      • Navy Chief says:

        If you are "paying" 30% you need to have someone else prepare your taxes. Because if you are Married filing jointly, own a home, have dependents etc your effective (net) tax rate is probably closer to 15%

        • cessational says:

          you are absolutely right Navy Chief. I am so sick of hearing that the ultra rich don't pay their share. This class warfare needs to stop before someone does something really stupid. I would love to see the 47% pay SOMETHING instead of always getting a free ride. So tired of the kids who bring I-pads to school but eat free lunch, wear $200 a pair shoes, but live in free housing. Get free medical but drive a lexus….etc.

      • CharlesBryant says:

        MrsL,

        Jesus, they already pay their fair share and more.

      • Finally someone with a brain.

    • Bess Weber says:

      They already do!!! Illegals and prisoners!
      Tricare: And remember Obama saying that" G'I's should pay for their own insurance after all they are VOLUNTEERS so what are they whining about" do you really think he has changed.?
      Vote the whole bunch of marxist/socialest out!!!

    • Johnson(Ret. USArmy) says:

      Everyone wants to blame the Democrats since Obama became president. I have been retired since 1994, then it was just TriCare, after a few years it became standard, prime and now they have TriCare for Life. This all started long before a democratic president came into office. Look at how the Republicans started this mess and now we are the ones suffering. I feel that the government has breached its contract with us. I remember being told in 1978 that if we retired we would be taken care of for life. That was all talk, because we the retirees and veterans are the ones really feeling this.

      • Granted, it is not all Obama. However, he has racked up $6 Trillion in debt in less than one term in office. The much more drastic cuts recommended (and more coming) are supported by everyone. I even agree we have to do something to cut costs. I'm just annoyed that the one percent who have served in the military are having our health benefits means tested while the administration refuses all calls to do the same with Medicare/Medicaid….

      • Navy Chief says:

        You are complaining about Tricare for life? This is what we were promised when we "volunteered". You state "I feel that the government has breached its contract with us." And although both Rep and Dem administrations have both tried this before, this is the closest to reality this has ever come and it is all due to the Democratic controlled Defense Dept.

    • not too sure you can lay this all on the Democrats. The Bush wars cost us $2Trillion and we all know that in the end:
      a. these countries will be right back like they were before we attacked (just like Viet Nam and before you label me as some liberal pacifist I did 2 combat tours in Viet Nam)
      b. the military will be before congress for $1 Trillion more to buy equipment lost, left or worn out in these 2 wars.
      We need to really cut 40% of every budget just to break even every year.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      "so-called" republicans are doing it too. We need a total overhaul of "our congressional leaders" and the White House. If Obama had been my commander in chief while I was in, I would have spit in his face, rather than shake his hand. Yep, go to jail probably, but would have been worth it! I hate what is happening to our US.

    • Margo French says:

      PLEASE stop making this a political party issue! The House is governed by Republicans and THEY hold the purse strings. If you insist on making this a political issue, we'll never unite to let our opinions be known. Isn't this country polarized enough? Polarization makes it IMPOSSIBLE to revolve issues. PLEASE rethink your opinions…

    • Frizzle's Father says:

      As long as the economy is in the toilet they'll have no problems filling those slots

    • If congress messes with the military retirement benefits they had also better be reducing their own benefits. Rather than a dollar for dollar reduction it should be a percentile reduction (ex. -10% military and -10% congress). Then we will see how much they reduce the military benefit when it also affects them.

    • R McGrail says:

      AMEN how dam bumb the must be to believe people will put their asses on the line for nothing while they watch congress get richer

    • CharlesBryant says:

      Hutch,

      I'm sure whether there is a Dem or Rep in power, this would still be happening.

      • Charles what's happening? You stated nobody was going after your benefits and that WE had such a better retirement package than congress. Your benefits have only gone up not down. Reality hit or what?

  59. Dianna Latham says:

    It is sad to think all of Congress has free Medical and make much more money than Retirees do for a life time. Retirees living on lower income and
    if this is done as they want some won't be cared for at all.

  60. Yep, let's take care of our veterans. This is what they like to tell the public but behind closed doors their actions show their real disdain toward veterans. Haven't we learned you can't trust the Washington elite with their fantastic retirement and health plan!

  61. Panetta doesn't have a clue what the military goes throught during active duty assignments. He spends money on uniforms which are not really needed. Stick with the tried and true uniforms. He is forcing more retired veterans to the Veterans Administration for care. As a retiree I was active in supporting enlistments, but since our congress has started sticking it to retirees I do my best to keep youg men out. They will be used and abused and the set on the street with little or no benefits…SHAME ON PANETTA FOR BEING SUCH A JERK, There are other ways to cut costs, it is easier to screw retirees.

  62. Just a little clarification here. You are correct in the definition of an entitlement. I would add that military retirement is an earned entitlement with some very serious "good and valuable consideration". People are confusing a gratuity as an entitlement. A gratuity is something that is offered outside of a contract. Welfare is a gratuity. Social Security is an entitlement, of sorts, but, unfortunately, it is one that people voted for themselves without realizing that, at some point in the future, since we voted to spend the money too, it becomes a gratuity, because people who never voted for it are going to have to pay for it. Yes, I'm retired. I feel earned the retirement along with the promised benefits.

    • Yes. An entitlement is something you receive simply by existing. Nothing is required of you in order to receive an entitlement. Military retirement and the associated benefits are in no way an entitlement. They are earned by the years of service you put in. You can consider it deferred compensation, if you like. It is unconscionable for the gov to go in and unilaterally modify the terms of a contract between you and the military and violate promises made.

  63. congress and Peon Panetia suck. . . vote them out of office including Obama. Elect those who do have some military time like Col West from Florida. Obama and the dems are killing this country. Obama goes to bases trying to get the military vote thanking them for their service while behind the scenes he screwing them in every way possible. Tiered health care by rank is just more of his socialist agenda.

    • Keep in mind the congress, Republican controlled forced these cuts on us, not the Pres. We should be a little more educated about our governing processes before we spout off. Remember, better to be thought ignorant, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

      • Sorry Chalie, Every cent the present Administration has asked for has been approved. The real problem stems from the increase (24%) in the staffing of all but the DOD, other associated military agencies (CID, NSA and others). If you recall we gave banks and "green" startup companies an ungodly amount of money and the preponderous have or are going broke. This is not unusual, every Liberal Administration except Harry Truman have sought to cut the Military, even while we were engaged in combat. This is the nature of the animal, get used to it.

      • Donna Van Dyck says:

        U got to be crazy not to realize that BO was pushing this issue then sat back and laughed when the republicans AND the democrats supported it. The best way to kiss his "apple pie"

        • By the way, love WEST, he has the guts to stand up in the line of fire. I would support him for President anytime.

          • You mistake West's stupid rants as guts. He was and remains a complete incompetent, and an embarrassment to the GOP.

    • omg. you're so well informed, but if I may, if you looked at congressional records, its the republicans who continue to attempt at reducing our afterservice benefits. Just recently, a Republican congressman from Ok. attempled to reversed the Agent Orange Resumptive designation and this is just one example, and my I add all his supporters were republicans senators and congressman. The Republicans will get u all the guns up want but to hell with the any after service benefits.

    • Agree 100% withyo Dan. Obama goes around licking butt to every level of society then behind thierbacks he screws them. Bottomline is this, he is cutting the military retirement system, defense and anything else he can get so that he can re-distribute it to his constituents. I thank God that I retired prior to him becoming C-of-C. God help us if he is re-elected.

      • President doesn't cut it, congress does. U really such a dumb ass or just a t-bagger / republican trying to create a stir on this site?

    • It is not just Obama the good old rep got their foot on your necks to all they care about is the RICH.

    • VoixVelour says:

      There is a metaphor making the rounds citing the "shipwreck" off Italy, the captain that fled like a "rabbit," and the solid Coast Guard Commander who jumped in to save passengers; sort of like the WH listing and Obama gone! Panetta should head back to the Napa valley with his fine vino and stay out of the "business" he knows nothing about; his predecessor Gates was of the same cloth. Not so Defense Secretary Cohen during the Clinton years.

    • VoixVelour says:

      Do I recall correctly that Naval Adm Mullens put our Armed Forces at 1 Million, vs 2.5 Million Federal employees (below). Their UNION trumps! The UNION DUES buy the votes; note the PUMMELING OF NEWT GINGRICH in FL; the powers that be are UNIONS and WALL ST and they are the annonymous "power brokers" of the secret PACS and then bring on "the media?" NEW GINGRICH has the breadth of knowledge and experience accentuated by his tour as Speaker of The House and a Ph.D from Tulane. "The media" twits have agents to keep them employed and attempt serial attacks as infotainment. GINGRICH comes out swinging, he is intelligent and he is scaring those politicos on both sides of aisles. It could be a "revival."

      • Donna Van Dyck says:

        Agree with you, Romney is Moderate and will swing with the slightest breeze. I realize Newt is not perfect, however I believe that if Romney is voted in, he will be a reflection of BO and our pantywaist congressional leaders in no time at all. We all need to remember ROMNEY CARE! And that BO took his OBAMA CARE cue from him. We need a true conservative who will support the military active duty and military veteran defenders of America. We voted Newt and proud of it.

        • Retired Helo Pilot says:

          Then you wasted your vote. How did Romneycare or how will Obamacare hurt you? All military members were part of "socialized" (i.e. gov't run) healthcare while on active duty. I have no complaints. If it's good enough for the military it's good enough for the rest of the country.

          • You can't just look at what benefits yourself. Overall effects for our great nation will be .. And IS DEVASTATING with obama-care. No, didn't waste my vote, but I bet you did because apparently if you voted for Romney, you bought into all the media hype that only dirty money can buy. Congratulations! We earned our benefits, the rest want it for free and at least 50% of those with their hands out will get it. Again, congratulations on that wise vote. NOT!

          • You really need some education. The Republican-dominated congress has forced these cuts. Romney talks big on defense, but neither he nor his silver spoon brood would risk their own comfort to serve. You can't advocate for these pandering conservatives, and then expect them to stick up for you. To keep the benefits you think you have earned will require more revenue and that is the simple truth. America needs to pay for what it gets.

      • the media "Fox News" aka: Murdoch propaganda central. They should pull that stinkin aussie "paperwork" and deport him back to australia. Correction, to China, where he does a lot of his business.
        And yeah, I'm sure gonna trust Newt G. The same douche bad who wanted Clinton impeached while he's cheating on wife #2 with soon to be wife #3.

    • Eugene J Hines says:

      Dan; it is not just President, congress & senate, we need people with people experience so things can be changed. You do not take away something that has been earned by their Military duty. When I retired
      in 1981 I was informed that all my medical problems would be cut. It
      started to go away in 1982 and has not stopped. every year they want
      to cut military bennifits and pay. It is about time that congress look at their
      salary and remember that they work for us not them selfs. Cut their pay so
      what ever then they get paid, if they don't due the job they don't earn
      any money and when they leave office unless they have tennur they will
      get nothing. It all goes back to how thery got elected.;
      joe

    • Dan, you are so right. Many years ago ('75) after I retired w/22 years actve duty status, an Air Force dentist at Scott Air Force Base informed me an order came down from Washington, dependents have priority over retirees. Why is that? The majority in Congress as never been there are done that. Col. Allen West is probably the strongest voice we have in Congress today. I am 100% from Vietnam due to Prostate Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Nuropethy and a couple other ailments. I waited three years after Prostate Surgery, before being persuaded by two other Disabled Marines to file a claim. Is that being greedy? I elected to waive my retirement check and take the VA Compensation, plus Combat Related Special Compensation. The cancer seems to be reappearing and face further treatment. I did not say how much monetary compensation I should receive, the VA and Navy Department decided that. Every doctor I have been treated by informs me to "Get as much as you can, you deserve every penny of it." If I had to pay cash for the treatment I have received over the past 10 years, the Lupron shot every three months would be $2,000, per my Urologist.

  64. It won't be long before incarcerated prisoners and illegal aliens get better health care and benefits than do military retirees.

  65. Smsgt USAF says:

    This Administration is a Nation Killer, every time YOU turn around they are after us Once hard working Retired Person that Built up and Supported this great Nation. For once lets try getting those non working class. Also that Tricare Tiere system will it be based on your pay when you retired or what-My God no it's because we get a check and our own government wants it back. Crap!!

  66. Old Navy guy says:

    Until we get out the vote and remove all these people from office, we are doomed to have the same treatment. We need a complete set of "new faces" after the next election (in November of this year), and if we don't do that, the same games will continue in our U. S. Capitol.
    Your chance will come in November, so let's get out the vote! That is the only control we have, so let's use it!
    Thank you all for your service to our country.

  67. SOOO apparently my last comment did not go over so well. Let me clear some things up. I AM, in fact, in school full time using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. I am very thankful for these programs as otherwise I would be unable to attend school. I am 90% disabled from the VA, and 60% from the Marine Corps. I was not a subpar Marine, I was only unable to be promoted due to my injuries and my inability to run. I was on active duty for 8.5 years because I was not allowed to be promoted, and was held past my EAS date due to my Med Board taking so long.
    I am open to all opinions, and as such I was giving an opinion based on ones I have heard from other people in reference to this subject. I am young, and do not have a first-hand account of the issues many retired vets face, and therefore was presenting the other side to the argument in a way to solicit others for a strong argument. I am an active advocate for veteran's issues, and needed other's ideas on how to attack this topic. I am the President of my school's student vet organization, as well as a sitting member of the National Leadership Council of the Student Veterans of America. I value the opinions of others on this topic, and thank you all for responding. As far as the personal attacks on my service, to each their own. My first comment was a bit scathing, and I apologize for that, but at least I got some ideas to use. Semper FI

    • Again, thank you all

    • Thanks

    • Well, thanks for clarifying!

    • Semper FI. If the GI Bill is not an entitlement, I would like to know what is.
      My husband also used the GI bill to get his degree. Sounds as if you are one of those liberal college socialist who has not learned anything about the real world yet. I will pray for you!!!!! You just need to be careful what you are learning in the colleges now. They want to turn you away from the way God has meant man to be and that is to have freedom and to earn his blessings. Remember in order to eat you must work.

    • James Rogers says:

      Thanks for your insightful addition. This is really an insulting issue that you and many other wonded warriers are experiencing, at a time we are still at war! I am a retired 0 – 6 from the AF in 1980 and have used our medical benefits in increasing numbers with age (now 81). Fighting from an aircraft I realize is much different that that of ground battle, but none of it is pleasant. War is HELL! And to include especially enlisted warriors in the same pot as I am in is completely crazy! I urge each of you so affected to contact your senators and representative in Washington D.C. as soon as this becomes a reality. Only politiical pressure will affect any good from our complaints to other than these folks.

      Jim R

    • First of all – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! It is sad that things didn't work out for you and I really don't have an answer as I won't pretend to be an expert.

    • My question may be a dumb one, but are you receiving disability from the VA and the Marine Corp?

  68. Disappointed says:

    I retired 16 years ago an never used the Tricare benefits for retirees.

    However, this enrages me because it is two-faced to rah-rah in front of the camera about supporting the troops and then slip in a major reduction in retirement. Many of those troops will retire and then — surprise!

    Whoever suggested this should hang their head in shame!

    • milretdude1995 says:

      Thanks for your comment and your service. As for your last comment … "Whoever suggested this should hang their head in shame!" …
      that would be Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who proposed to remove "working age retirees" from TRICARE Prime as one solution to the TRICARE financial funding issue that is currently in deep trouble. So many of the other comments that I also agree with relate to a suggestion that our polititians take a pay cut or reduce their "bennies" … don't think we should hold our breath. Ron Paul is starting to look real good. If I understood correctly, according to the news last night, approximately 3/4 of contributions received by presidential hopefuls are coming from active duty/retired and are going to Ron Paul. He seems to be the one that knows and would defend the Constitution of the United States. Doesn't matter what political party you side with … everyone must get out and VOTE responsibly for the person that best represents their beliefs and concerns.

  69. cyrus hartwell says:

    I just got through reading about the tricare problem. Why doesn't Congress cut their medical down as they are always cutting the Veterans befefits? Also, why is all the muslims in Michigan getting free welfare as they never lived here. Also, start giving all recipients of welfare and all other government benefits a urinalysis test monthly, don't pass no monery. Stop all welfare and other monies to the illegal immigrants and see how much money is saved. Stop the retirement pay of all congressman down to what a veteran gets and save money. They are millonaires but I doubt if you will find one veteran who works for the government a millonaire. Why is it when it come to cutting money from the budget it always starts with the veterans? I and many other veterans done what the govedrnment asked us to do and now we are always the first one to feel the cut in benefits. Jerry, Retired USAF and proud of it.

  70. DoD’s proposed FY2013 budget and his long term plan to reduce defense spending by approximately $259 billion over the next five years.
    …………………

    Stop aid to country's that would just as soon stab us in the back as look at us and there's your savings. Then work on spending cuts of federal employees, namely the 500+ on the Hill….THEN we'll talk about military spending cuts,,,ehh???

  71. bohica bEND oVER hERE IT cOMES aGAIN. iM SURE WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT OUR SO-CALLED LEADERS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OR ARE NOW SERVICG AS LONG AS THEY GET THERIR PERKS WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. . wE DIDNT CREATE THIS MESS THE COUNTRY IS IN NOW BUT WE WILL PAY FOR IT..
    tHE WAY THINGS ARE GOING WE WONT HAVE TO WORRY BECAUSE THERE WONT BE MANY PEOPLE VOLUNTEERING FOR SERVICE.

  72. How about stopping all gov funded programs and services for illegal aliens? That would free up several hundred $billion a year and that money could go toward fully funding the programs for those who deserve to receive the benefits, like military retirees, SS, medicade, etc….

  73. What I would ask is this, how many promises are going to be broken to the American people before it's all over? Recalling the promises made in the original medicare program, I now see those being broken big time by the continuing cuts always on the back of those least able to afford them. If anyone for a second believes this whole business isn't a scam to ensure everyone has to sign up for Obamacare, think again.Now looking at the medicare and tricare systems and the tinkering that's gone on with these systems what makes anyone think this nat'l healthcare plan, another government managed system won't be another of those same evolutions? For those working age retirees with employer sponsored healthcare programs expect to see those evaporate as soon as the nat'l plan goes into effect. Just think about the size this bureaucracy is going to be. I agree there needs to be term limits imposed on all elected offices, if good enuf for the prez, good enough for the congress. The problem comes down to this, "the Golden Rule"; "he who hs the gold makes the rules"!

  74. Great idea!! I think our retirement and medical benefits should be completely cut!! Then place us in the same system that congress has!
    Then our retirement and medical would be untouchable!!

  75. Emil Steinmetz says:

    Why cant they cut the care for Obama and a[[ the other Assho;es that work our Wonderful Goverment, Why always pick on Armed Services,These are the people who gave up there lives for country. and everything else,

  76. I'm getting sick of these a-holes constantly wanting to cut benefits from those who have earned them, while at the same time continuing to hand out free money to those who don't deserve them…..

  77. Larry USA Retired says:

    Keep taking away benefits and soon, you won't be able to get anyone to enlist or get commissioned in the military. Are you ready to bring back the draft? If you think the American public is upset about rising military costs, just wait until you announce that the draft will be reinstated. If you want a quality military, you have to invest in it. Not with promises that you don't keep, but with real benefits. Now the administration feels like it is OK to take back those promises. Really! How about cutting the medical benefits of Congressmen, Senators, Presidents and all former members on this elite group? I have not seen a proposal to do that! Most of these guys and gals are wealthy enough that they do not really need the benefits anyway, unlike a lot of us out here that are facing cuts. After all, the automatic cuts are a direct result of Congresses inability to do its job. "All gave some, some gave all." Apparently, those of us who gave some but lived through it, are being asked to give more. Where does it end?

    • I'm with you on the medical they should have same as everyone else.While we're at it they need to take cuts in their pay checks 50% would be a start! Have them clock in and only pay for the hours the 'work' its just a job so no retirement unless you do 20yrs! See how they would like it if they had to be the same as most American citzens!

  78. Louis Tafoya says:

    BOHICA TWICE!!
    $259 Billion from the Military and $500 Billion from Medicare! Yep, for sure this guy is the fourth best president the US of A has had! Let's put him in office for another 4-years! USN Retired 25-years

  79. ponch gonzales lara says:

    those of you who did your tours for this country are appreciated by a hand full of civilians. those who appreciate us are or have been service connected in some form.
    those of you who have bought any thing on a contract know you must live up to the contract. I did not write the contract ,they did and I gave my butt for 26 years of which as a navy corpsmen , I gave 22 months in vietnam with 1st mar div. I earned the right to wear the silver star, 2 bronze stars 4 purple hearts and 15 more medals and ribbons. Am I a hero , hell no , by brothers in arlington and other cemetaries are. we signed contracts and those of us who made it deserve what was promised. federal employees are told 30 yrs age 55 retirement will they take a cut, don't hold your breathe.
    may GOD be with you

    • MMCM(SS)RET says:

      Thank you for your service

    • USAF & CSRS Ret says:

      Greeting Doc…

      You have also earned the respect of your brothers in uniform of the U.S.A. Thanks for your service time and for the care you must have given to all the guys that needed you. Respectfully.

  80. If You all would just play attention to what's happenning in washington, it's not only the Dem, Who want's small Gov, who want to cut the budget,cut spending the Gop, The only thing the Gop cares about is big business,is weapon system for the miltary, because they on the boards and getting paid by the lobbyist,,,,, IF WE WANT TO MAKE CHANGE, WE HAVE TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED, WE ARE LARGE IN NUMBERS,SO LET BE HEARD.

    IT'S TIME FOR THE GI'S TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON, AND LET OUR FEELING BE KNOWN

  81. Alfred Arocha says:

    What it boils to is the MONEY they going after the ONE that is simple and easy they don't know what else to do SO why NOT the Military Retirees, its nothing but BULL!!!!!

  82. Jack Sullivan says:

    I spent 20 years as a member of the USAF. These years called for 3 remote assignments. I have no problem with these remote tours as it was an expected hardship. I do have a very real problem with the long separations from my wife and children. This cut in pay is a slap in the face for all of us that served with honor and pride. Please take a very hard look at this.

  83. We earned and were promised medical benefits. The DoD budget is and always was a small portion of this country's overall budget. But I, like many of you worked hard for what I have and while I don't expect a handout, I do expect what I earned and was promised. What happened to "grandfathering" changes? Why do we reward those who don't work by giving them welfare and/or Medicaid? Let's adopt the Canandian model and make those people go out and work–Canada did it and their welfare benefits declined immensely. Time to stop penalizing those who work/worked hard and giving handouts to those who don't. Let's get out and vote for the right people. By the way, who's lobbying for us?

  84. If you really want to save any money, Obama should start with foreign aid! Why should we be denied our benefits, while Obama sends $1.5 billion a year to Egypt and for what?

  85. CDR USNR retired says:

    We need men and women in Washington that are true leaders. Leaders lead by example. After they have made the sacrifices, then they may challenge us to sacrifice as well. Until I see these sacrifices made by my representatives and senators, then I will only interpret these attempts to further deprive veterans by congress as hypocrisy and their patriotic rhetoric as just political self-serving talk.

  86. It’s a total disgrace what they are doing to
    Americas military. Everything congress or
    the president touches they screw up

    Common sense – they are weakening our
    Country cuts.

    • They don't see it that way nor do the people who voted for him. Positive proof that the Amercian public educational system (dominated by liberals for the past 40 years) is pathatic and abysmal.

  87. get every one to the voting boot; but beware of those who talk with forked tongue

  88. Promised Health Care Free For Life and Congress takes it away. Either directly from the Veteran or from his or her doctor…It figures, since our elected officials have made a career of politics! Them and their families live off the Tax Payer for life. Get the hint? Send their children to college for free – what do the rest of us have to pay? I could go on and on, but what the use. They make the rules.

  89. OldAFNurse says:

    Panetta is doing exactly what he was sent to Defense to do………the democrat party always guts the military and that is why Gen. Petraeus was sent to the CIA instead of where he belonged………in Defense. He would have fought for the military benefits which Panetta will gut.

  90. Retired USN says:

    PIPE DOWN AND LISTEN UP!!
    A quick note the civilian aor former military…..EVERYONE IS AT THE "FRONT" NOW. There is no such thing as "in the rear" as Air Force and Navy guys are riding point in convoys to free up soldiers. When an IED goes off…..Now enough of that garbage.
    The real point of my post is that I just spent a lot of time doing recruiting (officer and enlisted). NOTE TO CONGRESS: Unless you DRAMATICALLY LOWER HEALTH STANDARDS….you can FORGET about attracting the talent you will need to man even a small force. You know how many high school or college kids can join the military even if their life depended on it? Try about 30%. Out of that 30%…do you know how many are even inclined to join? Do you know what happens when the economy turns around? We have lived thru this before…the mid 90's, and EVERYONE STARTED BAILING WHEN THEIR RETIREMENT GOT SCREWED WITH. SO they had to beef it up. AND THAT WAS IN PEACETIME! What do you think would happen now? Before any of you fools make a smart-ass joke about the quality of today's military….why don't you call up a local recruiter and see what they say. We stopped being recruiters" long ago. We are now "talent scouts", because that is how rare it is to find a young person NOT ON MEDS, NOT FAT, NOT ARRESTED, GOOD GRADES, etc…etc..etc…

  91. Let your elected officials know how you feel on this issue.
    http://capwiz.com/usdr/issues/alert/?alertid=6092

  92. JOSHUA FROM MO. says:

    Those who run this once great country are on a path to sink it worse than it was during the great depression. I am a retired U.S. Marine. I volunteered to serve and was voluntold many times where to go, who to kill, and missed years of my families life. I decided to make a career of my enlistment and am entitled to the Tri-care I recieve as part of my retirement benefit as promised. But now the one benifit that drives us to finish a career full of sacrifice is being stripped away. What kind of military will we later have when those who wish to volunteer are seeing the benifits shrink from those who came before them. What incentive will you offer them and then renig on later down the road. If your plans are to make tri-care preimiums like that of the civilian work force then good luck keeping an all volunteer fighting force. You want to cut medical cost. Quit paying for federal inmate surgeries when the result wasnt caused by being incarcerated. Knee, hip replacements. Cornea repair. Cancer treatment, transplants. All free to the system using criminals we keep behind bars. The doctors they see are ones that I can not because they don’t accept tri-care. This is where systems are messed up. Not to mention all the medications we provide them so they can survive, be released, and most likey re-commit because they are used to no bills, 3 free meals, and free medical. Will it come to the point that in order for the military retirees to get the medical attention we deserve we need to rob a bank to do so?

    • I think you should throw illegal aliens and welfare receipant into you state and federal inmate catagory

    • They also need to quit building and supporting hospitals and clinics in foreign countries and spend American tax dollars on Americans.

    • Rember the US renig on WWI $500 bonuses and Major McArthur, aka General, breaking up Cox's army. Politions, ie: Bankers & Churches, Start & Stop War. It is the military job to fight and die. ALL Generals/Admrials are made by Politions.

      John from Fort Worth

      • Start getting this stuff on Facebook and let the word spread like wildfire.

        – All of those people that say to me "thank you for your service" when they find out I've spent the last 20yrs as a Marine might actually e mail a congress person or two and this BS might be rectified. Posting rants on here fall on deaf ears.

  93. agree with others who have posted….the rate which this country and it's illustrious leaders are driving it, America will be a third world country before long. Why would anyone enlist at this rate, when the benefits are limited and can't be guaranteed as we are seeing years later, and they can easily get another job with far less risks and likely better pay? Your honor and devotion to country isn't going to feed your family and pay for your home and health in the long run?
    Why don't we ever see the insurance plans of those in Washington DC on the floor as possible budget cuts or Michele Obama's ostentatious staff just as a place to start?

  94. I support the law which requires all offiical correspondence be in English and citizenship based on reading and writing english

    • No cual es tu problema? Acaso te sientes inferior porque no entiendes espanol? I serve 3 years in Germany and 19 year in army reserve , I speak German english, and espanol. Creo Que tienes problema lenguisticos “my friend”

  95. bravopickles says:

    May I remind those of you who are blaming the President and the Dems that it was Boehner, McConnell and Co. who made an issue of the deficit – the same party that spawned Dick Cheney who famously said "deficits don't matter". It is because of their push to reduce what doesn "matter" and their refusal to have the most wealthy of this country to pay their fair share of taxes, that all these cuts are taking place.
    Politics aside, this happens whenever we come out of a war (in this case Iraq and soon Afghanistan). It happened after the Revolution and it has happened after every war since. Remember the old poem – God and the Soldier, we adore/ In times of trouble and not before/ The danger passed and all things righted/ God is forgotten and the Soldier slighted.

  96. Keep in mind that when people bag on Obama for his socialist govt programs that ALL entitlement programs including GOVT military pensions are socialist in principal. Govt is broke, All programs need to be trimmed/cut. Everyone has had fun sharing in the pie…now comes the bellyache while we have to throw up all the excess credit/debt in the system. Want to see the future…watch Greece while it navigates "austerity" (spending cuts) measures.

  97. Terry Thomas says:

    What does this Tricare cut say for our prospective men and women that are volunteering to serve their country? Not only will we have this problem but many other benefits have been slashed and there will be more to come.
    Let's get this spending priority right. Qiut giving away money to foreign countries who smile at us to our face and then stab us in the back. Quit giving welfare and food stamps to people who are capable of working and get them off their butt. Finally, quit giving hand-outs to illegals and lets provide monies to OUR people who legitimately need help.
    Our nation is in deep trouble! We need to get back to God and beg him to straighten out our leaders and replace them with capable men and women who has the fortitude and intelligence to lead this nation.
    Tell your congressmen how you feel about this Tricare cut. Hopefully, they will listen.

    • They aren't … And won't listen until they see us standing before them. Do all of you not see this? Are our memories so short that we don't remember the Union marches, or the 99'ers protest. What about the protest against the Viet Nam war in the 60's? All of these actions taken by these people got results. Are we retired military members ABOVE fighting for our rights. Or do we just sit by and watch passively as our years of dedicated service and rights go down the drain? if we don't care enough to fight for our rights, I can guarantee you that congress doesn't care either.

  98. lets gets get to gether and have everyone in goverment be the same as the rest of the country including Unions. You have to take at least a 50% pay cut and no retirment pay outs unless you do 20yrs.People in goverment have no idea how most of us live. They give to non-workers and take from those who are suffering. This is our tax money they are throwing away

    • They don't know how the rest of the population does it on a daily basis for one reason. THEY ARE ALL MILLIONAIRES WHO WANT TO HOOK UP THEIR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. Nobody wants to hear the truth. Come on, someone is always beating the drum calling for action but it never comes. Why ? Apathy uh, ignorance the list goes on and on. SAD…

    • Bob Griffin says:

      Don't bad-mouth UNIONS! This country is a UNION

  99. Mike Zulinski says:

    Welcome to the "GOOD OLD BOY" syndrum of politicians, I have YET to see any reduction in their benefits, pay etc.,etc., Even when they go on "TOURS" ???? they take their families at our expense to places like Monaco, France, Germany, you don't see them taking their families to Iraq, . It my opinion when they have to go on these trips , they go alone like WE DO/DID so they can get the JOB done and get home ASAP and not linger on Days after to "CRITIQUE" what they think they did/done ??/

  100. truegrit39 says:

    I don't here anything coming from McCann or Leven about cutting their benefits.

  101. A tier system would not work and here is why. An E7 that retired 20 years ago would make less in retired pay then an E5 today. Does not make sense, these civilian leaders seem to think that retired pay goes up like active pay, when it actually doesn't. I have wrote my reps and senators numerous times and I think some staffer reads them as they don't even answer my email properly. I had one response totally on a different subject then I send in to them. I will continue to write anyway as we have no one really on our side anymore, not even Mccain.

  102. The first thing the Congress and the President resort to is making the military
    pay for their outlandish manner which categorizes their way of governing.
    The military forces sacrifice much more than anyone else in our population.
    Our military die or are maimed in record numbers in any war, and then
    our leadership cuts funding for their care. Manwhile, we give foreign aid to
    Egypt now a power controlled by Muslim radicals. If we cut aid to those
    foreign countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and any other country
    that consistently vote against us, we could provide for our Veterans who make
    it possible to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy. Congress should set the example
    by having to join the Obama care they crafted on a Partisan basis, and that
    makes simply above the law. Our military strength is vital to our freedom.
    We must porvide and protect our Veterans above all else. American values
    demand we do so.

  103. I will continue to let my elected officials know what I think/feel bevause it is my duty to do so, but, so far not a thing has been done to give me a warm fuzzy in a few years, time will catch up to me and I'll be gone and apparently nothing will have improved…..sad

  104. To make everything more equitable in this country, limit the number of reps in the house to 2 per state as the senate is. Change the system that allows the number of state reps to be determined by population size. If 2 senatore is good enuf, 2 reps is also. We as people should also have the privilege of recalling any in congress/senate at any time with a simple election should we feel they don't properly represent us.If a hundred senators is deemed sufficient to do the job, so is a hundred reps. Time to stop doling out money to other countries when we have so many in need here. We can not longer afford to be a world policeman offering our military as fodder for the various world problems. Bring the troops home and use them to protect our own borders and help the INS ferret out those who are here illegally and send them back to their country of origin 21 year AF retiree.

    • Are you a Ron Paul kind of guy? Do agree on most of your points though lol

    • Navy Wife and Mom says:

      Stop funding alien residents with earned income credits and child tax credits. Stop funding illegals with FREE everything.

    • It is high time we quit playing the party game and vote to fire everyone in federal office. That goes from our golf playing President (Nero fiddled while Rome burned) and every individual Congressperson. I have a better ideal. Double the taves of everyone in this Nation that did not serve, but enjoy the freedom soldiers blood has bought.Backpayment on all the trees they never relieved themselves on, the time the soldiers spend away from their fanilies, and the friends and loved ones who never came home. Good start Gene, but what about drug testing all on public assistance, and forcing them to work cleaning our roads, government buildings etc. Think what we might save on contractors. retired Army and recently declared independant voter.

    • Robert D. Mowrey says:

      As an AF retiree, I agree 100% with you. We need our military to protect our borders and not take up other nations tribulations because they are not wanting to do so!

    • Please read the Federalist Papers on WHY the Great Compromise was put into the Constitution. There's a reason the House is based on population, and the Senate on state sovereignty. And it's still valid.

    • gene, the reason you want to keep those two reps is, the House of Representatives is supposed to be the people's house. They represent the people in a small district close by. I can get in touch with my rep, who represents a smaller number of people and is more concerned, for instance, with what is happening down the street from me or why I'm having trouble getting what I need from a larger department. Mine is a woman with a reputation of doing just that. It's why she gets reelected. If yours doesn't, get yourself moving….you are a registered voter, right? If not, either register and then vote or don't complain…okay? Just so we're clear. And here's a clue…all politics is local. If you are able, start at home and make some political noise, even run for local office and get it started. The House of Representatives is where the financial decisions start in DC, it was taught in high school when I was a kid. We had a woman here who went to the state house, and then to DC in the House for her district. You want to see things done, I can tell, but it takes time. Start now.

  105. PalmDesertWriter says:

    Is it November yet?

  106. William w. imbrel Sr says:

    Gee! Why not disband the professional military and begin a draft at once?
    $ fifty dollars, a" hot and a cot." with free medical care if you go on sick call at 6 AM. Every one can serve– and better; if physicaly able- No exemptions allowed . Would you feel safer with this ?. If this country went back to the draft we would be forced to close the border to Canada and Mexico to keep our potential draftee's in America.

    • Probably not so far from the truth. Enjoyed this point

    • Bob Griffin says:

      Sounds good to me! Gov. does not care about our pay. Went in Navy age 17 for $78 per mo. Was curious about how long were recruits being paid $78. Well,it was 1948 since their last raise. Pay went from $50 to $78! When was it raised above $78?

      • David Whitmore says:

        Not sure. I know that when I enlisted Oct '78, I got $396 a month, out of which they pulled my(?) Social Security, and their Income Tax. But I did get $7 a month for Uniform care (tax-free)!
        Took a 50% pay-cut, from unemployment, just to be able to say I was working again. And no, my benefits hadn't run out.

  107. I have been on standBy after retiring since 1992 for one most inport thing for the USA cut my medical an Benfits then why should I or any of us others
    Wheel Chair or not. I am to restore Living condition for the area I am told to bring back to safe living an opertional if that ever comes about. if you cut my health care then an all the others. let the congress sons an daughter take our places an cut there income aswell

  108. Wonder if it is time to start a "Starship Trooper" Solution?

  109. Perhaps Congress should pass a tiered payment plan so that the medical costs for all U.S. government workers, including Congress, are based upon their respective incomes. I'm going to suggest that to my representatives and hope that you will too! What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

  110. Tim Adams says:

    I see my country breaking faith with those who served. Shame on Congress and shame on the Commander in Chief. Serving ones country should not be forgotten. Promise health care if you make it to retirement and then charge them for it and then finally deny it. Shame. Those men and women did not sit around and wait for an entitlement, or be born into it, they *%^*%& well earned it. It's almost like hiring someone to do a job and then telling them you won't pay them and expect them to just move on and that they should just be happy they were able to work for you.

  111. I wrote to my elected officials 2 times…their response was not so great. I told them they should cut benefits from ex spouses and any elected official that did not serve their country!!! That should cut quit a bit out of the expenses.

    • Al Wheeler says:

      I agree.They should pay their own health care and their own SS.And take a 50% cut in the retirement.Why should they get full pay when they retire?

  112. Bail out the BANKSTERS but to hell with those who served?

    Seal Team 6 up!

  113. B Carroll says:

    What precentage of the current administration in Wash. served in the Military?_Most of them would find it very difficult to qualify, both mentally and physically._All of them should be made to serve one term in the service, Then they would know whats its like to miss important things in life like your childs firt steps._Don't forget to vote.

    • Retired PH1 says:

      2009-2010 120 of 535 (22%) voting members. 1969-1971 398 of 535 (74%) voting members to look out for the(living) 8% of us who have been in the military.Neither of our PA Senators or any of the Congressmen who represent the central PA region was ever in the military. This rapid decline in representation will only get worse if we continue to elect federal and state lawmakers who only look out for themselves and were never in the military.

      • Wow! I am sure this is across the board, not just in PA. I looked up Newt Gingrich's service record, and he never served. I found a good website that tells who served and who didn't. Sickeningly, more Democrats served than Republicans, or so the site said. Several of the Repubs were listed as having dodged the draft too. Made me SO ashamed. We REALLY need to add that as criteria for a president, besides over 35 years old and native born (Obama is the exception to that rule): they MUST have served honorably for at least one hitch in the US Military, and not in the Reserves, ROTC, etc., but the real deal!!

    • Well said. Most are not worthy or qualified to even carry a water bucket for our troops!

      • How about them carrying a honey bucket from the latrine? Our POWs had to do that. But lets cut off their medical benefits, and not allow them to use MMTFs either. That's what I don't understand about John McCain. He wants to cut veterans off entirely, yet he was a Viet Cong POW for all those years. Has he forgotten his fellow soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen?

    • Love your post, and totally agree, but what good do you think your vote does? The president is not elected by the popular vote, but by the Electoral College, a filthy, corrupt, unnecessary and outdated institution that most people don't understand if they are even aware of its existence. THIS problem needs to be addressed so we can truly be a Democracy!

    • @ B Carroll, I can understand and agree with your comment 100%. But the one thing that bothers me is how can an Illegal as in Barack Obama. Serve in the US Military. As a one time reenlistment NCO and Career Counsler. I could'nt find anything in any Military Reg, Showing that it could be done. Well Army Reg that is. And we must remember that Sen John McCain did serve. And at one time I had the upmost respect and admireation for him. But that has sense changed, With his stance on the Military, And him being the co-author of the NDAA bill. Now I see him for what he really is, Just another screw the people and the Military RINO.

    • Cynthia A Knowles says:

      I couldn't agree with you more!

  114. BooseyBoo says:

    It is interesting…retirees\vets are individuals who have worked hard for this country and our politicians keep trying to make us work even more yet there are indivuals who have never worked a day in their life receiving welfare benefits and are never asked to give up or take reduced benefits. It is sickening!!!

  115. After serving 24 years in the AF and ANG, and having lost most of his hearing in Vietnam, my husband's retirement was cut in half, because his hearing disability is not rated at least 50%. If you don't think that stinks, think again. Now they want to cut the medical benefits? November needs to hurry and get here before we have no country left for our military to protect. Our leadership in Washington has no clue.

    • That sucks

    • ?????
      His retirement for 24 years may be offset by the VA disability benefits. However, if he's under 50% it's dollar for dollar substitution of taxable money for non-taxable (net result more money, maybe not much, but some). If his pay got got, then he needs to run, not walk, to the nearest military organization (DAV, VFW, AL, etc), to get help getting that straightened out.

      • Reverse that, it substitution of non-taxable money for taxable money. Bottom line he should end up with slightly more money. He should NEVER end up with less money.

  116. One of the Biggest Mistakes in Military Health Care was Shutting Down all the Military Hospitals after the BRACS. Military Medical people took care us a lot Cheaper and understood the Culture, they were also training for future conflicts in their fields. All you had to do to get care was to Show your Military I.D. and that was it!

  117. Bell from Texas.
    Well here we go again. Why do you people have to keep messing with the retired personnel? One of these days when you all need men and women to serve there won't be any one. Everyone will have ran to Canada or another country and said you all clean up your own mess. If you cut our tri-care then cut your own health care by the same amount. Why don't you quit paying for politican who are in jail? Leon P you just need to get a real job. Stop closing our bases and cutting our forces. I joined the USAF in 1950 and stayed for 20 years. I was told you stay for 20 and we will take care of you. What the HELL happends? I am 80 years old and have cancer, heart trouble and lung problems. I guess we are supposed to just shut up and die. HELP WE ARE DYING.

  118. Scotty Smith says:

    If you want to get it right, here is the plan. When a person makes a decision to be come a career soldier, salior, marine airman or coasty, what ever the decision point is, i.e 1st re enlistment or 2nd, those benifites on the table should be the ones the retiree dies with.

    CSM USA /r/

  119. And Obama promised that he would take care of veterans first several in several speeches but apparently this is election talk and he is not sincere about the veterans or other american ideology. It wouldn't surprise me if his administration started talking about taxing churches and veterans benefits. He lies and then continues to tell the same lie and expects us to believe him-Never!

    • Watch the news much? The Obama admin signed into law the largest increase in VA benefits in 2009. It is amazing to me that so many commentators on this site praise their victimizers and curse their benefactors. This legislation was largely opposed by the GOP.

      http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2009/02/huge-incr

    • He will take care of us veterans: under his illegal and unconstitutional Obamacare plan, which will certainly bankrupt the country! He just wants to take care of everybody on his own terms: CONTROL, the Democrats' favorite word and ultimate goal.

    • AFRET2000 says:

      Just add up his date nights with his wife and we could finance Tricare for a substantial amount of time. How many of our Vets can afford to fly off to NY for a date night.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Geez John, you didn't know that up front about Obama? The minute his lips moved, I knew he was lying, go figure, I was right.

  120. Once again it is the earned being sacrificed in favor of the unearned. Plus, we really do not have a voice. It should be the commander in chief, but obama certainly is NOT our voice. Here we go…

  121. Can we use this TIERED approach by rank for how we are killed in combat
    defending you and others?

  122. I'm not sure why every administration takes aim at the military whenever government cuts are mentioned, and with every cut comes a committee, who's on these committee the same folks that want to make the cuts, or a company or group that knows someone in congress.
    We never hear anything about a change in the way defense or other government contracts are written. How many government buildings are we the tax payers leasing that are empty? We can cut spending by identifying the wasteful spending, like special projects, sponsored by members of congress. Everyone wants to cut something but no one wants to look at the real problem and until that issue is address all the cut's in programs will not solve a thing. Let's start by setting term limits for members in congress so we can get some new blood and idea's in office. I can't work until I'm 80 at my company, why should they be allowed to work in congress till they die, keeping the same old ideas that most likely helped get the country in this mess.

    Let's start with new idea, not cutting programs for the military putting a band aid on a head injury is not going to stop the bleeding.

    • How about all the embassies in all the foreign countries that we give AID to who hate us. YEAH. How about hilary clinton who's job is such a waste, how about Sec Def, how about Michelle, she spends our tax dollars like it's her own lunch money…the list goes on, too numerous to list.

  123. Politicians say what will get them elected, it matters not which party, Congressman or President. Don't believe that the Republicans will be any better, they're the ones pushing for all the cuts right now. So the Democrats, in order to stay in office, try to out-cut them. We need MORE elected officials with military experience which will not happen as there is NO INCENTIVE TO JOIN THE MILITARY. We need the draft to put EVERYONE in the pool, so EVERY American will have the opportunity to get the "military treatment". That means treating us like dirt! The BRAC was a CROCK–has anyone figured out how much that is costing us? It's astronomical–some savings!

    • Marvis Hood SSG/Ret says:

      I am with you. Let those sob's go in the military and see what that life styles are like. Familys are broken up because gi joe is not at home. Can't find jobs when they get out. Those BRACs effected every and all, because it has weakend our military and the job market. The service people in the communities are gone, all othe civilservice jobs are gone and all of the companies and small bussinesess are closed, wher are all pf the Jobs? take a good look at the people ( mostly Republicans ) that started this shit. They do nothing but collect the checks and have necver been in harms way. Just think of whom you vote for.and if you make a bad choice, it's your fault.

      BigHood
      Retired 20 years Army

      Veterans get your heads out of your buts and smeii the coffee..

    • You better get up to date on the issues. It is not the GOP who is doing everything to cut defense, it is YOUR PRESIDENT who is directing the destruction of the defense budget. Also who took 500 billion from Medicare to put into the OBAMA CARE, your DEMOCRATIC friends. Just remember the GOP wants smaller governament and the Dems want larger Governament. This President came in to make this a Socialized Country, Socialized Meds, the works. Better be careful what you hope for you just may get it. I agree with previous writer we went to court for those of us who entered the military prior to 1957 and our health benefits were re-instated for live by the courts. Hey legal minds out there can they take away the courts actions. Legal minds we need help. Lastly the sooner we get that Muslim President out of the WH the better.

  124. Attention all veterans: I saw this coming years ago. I did not just complain…I decided to do somthing. So, in 2010, I ran for the US Senate in hopes of getting elected and being the senior Army veteran in the Senate. I wanted to be the protector of veterans' programs like Tricare and VA. I knew that our benefits were at risk because most of Congress has zero military time (NOTE: 80% of Congress has never worn the uniform of our military). Unfortunately, I discovered that as a group, veterans fail to get involved in the political process – they don't give money to candidates- they don't volunteer to get a fellow veteran elected – they just complain about what Congress is doing to them. My advice is get involved NOW! Find a candidate that supports military veterans and get out there and work for that candidate!! If you don't, we will just have to accept the erosion in our benefits – we see what happens when we do nothing. We need a veteran's march on Washington to bring attention to our issue – what about Nov. 11th, 2012? Pass it around. Col. Reynolds, US Army (Ret.).

    • Col, been saying just that. The only way washington will take us seriously is a march to show our "great leaders" that they can't take away our benefits,we have to show them the whites of our eyes, they have to see us TO HEAR us.
      I'm willing to go, but how many will get off their butts to achieve something for themselves? I believe most just like complaining unfortunately, however, you've got two here!!

  125. I would have to say that the vast majority of those that served joined out of a sense of duty and patriotism. I only served 21 years of active service and retired as a CWO3, so I had the pleasure of having enlisted service and commissioned service. I have watched over the years as the different schemes have been presented to service members in an attempt to get them to take reduced retirement pay.

    I have also seen all those things that were free or low cost slowly creep up until I wonder how many of the junior troops make it, especially if they have a growing family to provide for as well. I know some will say “if the Corps wanted you to have a family they would issue you one” well that old train of thought has long passed. If we expect to attract the best and brightest to a life of military service we must provide some type of incentives or they will simply look elsewhere. All four of our kids have the desire to serve in the military but we stressed that they get at least an undergraduate degree before joining because the way it’s heading there will soon be no difference in incentives than working in the public sector.

    Think about one plan the politicians are trying to sell to the masses…no benefits until you are in your 60s (please clarify if I am off base)…that dog don’t hunt! Now Mr. Pannetta is trying to push this tiered payment structure for Tricare? As my 15 yr old daughter would say “really?”. So in essence they are saying if you served longer we are going to reward you by charging you more, very clever since that will only cause our experience leaders to depart after they get their 20 years of service in.

    I really hope the day comes when our veterans, regardless of how long they have served decide to quit sucking it up, start using the limited services offered, and unit as a group regardless of branch of service they served in , and regardless of if they were enlisted or officer and sound off and say “Enough!”.

  126. bill stone says:

    Can you say "Betrayal"?

    • Bill, their definition of betrayal is when they don't stand up for each others stupid tax cuts. It doesn't even occur to them that they are betraying us, and wont until we stick it up high and dry!!

  127. John Scriven says:

    The simple solution is to make military (any status) and legislators (all levels) covered by the exact same health care.
    1. There would be a savings realized by the reduction in coverage on the legislative side (because you know they won't bring us military types up to their standard of coverage)
    2. The administration of the plan (rather than plans) would be simpler
    3. All argument about coverage reduction would probably disappear.
    4. The rates paid for services would probably remain at a rate where doctors wouldn't be reluctant to treat us.

  128. Infantry/Engineer says:

    As a soon to be retiree and an officer, I don't take issue with paying slightly higher Tricare fees than an retired E-6. I didn't join thinking that I was going to retire or feel entitled to being taken care of for the rest of my life. As a 20+ year infantry/engineer Soldier, of which I spent my first ten years enlisted, I served because I wanted to. It annoys me that Congress never seems to face the same cuts and that should be changed, but I don't like to see military retirees complaining about Tricare increases when the rest of the country are all dealing with the financial recklessness of the last two administrations.

  129. "Higher ranked retirees would pay more". Sounds great but just how many lower ranks make it to retirement? Sounds to me like somebody in the White House oops excuse me I mean the "Pentagon" came up with real neat way to gouge all retirees and make it sound fair.

    • Our Presidents priorities are to provide benefits to illegal aliens, like sending their kids to college free. Somethings got to give to fund his priorities. After all, he isn't the President who promised servicemen free healthcare for life if they served your country for 20-years. Our country apparently has no sense of obligations for promises made during election campaigns OR when the candidate is working as a salaried elected official of our government.

  130. Being in the military already places you in a tiered system. Think BAS between enlisted and officers. Ask yourself what will happen if the system goes broke. Or a more likely result first is you can't find a doctor who will take a TRICARE patient, soldier, sailor, airman or family member. It won't matter how cheap the cost of the plan is then. The whole country is broke – everyone has to do their share or we fought to preserve nothing.

  131. 20yearman says:

    These opinions of yours are just that.! I personnally agree and
    why, because when we sign our contracts they don't say anything
    about benifites or entitlements from what I remember.
    Yet these benies and so called entitlemnts are first and fore most the things that are looked at before any other reductions, such as Congress cutting back on them selfs.
    They should cut out retirement, cut back on health and tax them
    and make them pay for thier social security like we do. These
    people should not have the right to vote them selfs Pay raises
    either and getting a retirement should be ousted they should
    save as we do for that!, and pay for Medical coverage as we
    do!

  132. HERE WE GO IS RIGHT, OK SO NOW INCREASE MY TRICARE PAYMENT, CLOSE THE MTF'S AND CUT THE TRICARE DOCTOR PAYMENT SO THEY REFUSE TRICARE PATIENTS. IN THE END WE WILL ALL GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. LIKE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT DONT HAVE COVERAGE. OR WE COULD CUT DEPENDENTS OUT OF THE PICTURE SINCE I DONT HAVE ANY. DIDNT COME IN MY SEABAG……CUT ALL I MEAN ALL GOVMT OFFICIALS PAY, CUT MEDICAL CARE FOR GOV OFFICALS AND SINCE LEON WANTS TO GO BY RANKS. THE OLDEST GOVMT OFFICIALS SHOULD BE PAYING THE MOST… DO AWAY WITH VA EXTRA MONEY BECAUSE U ARE MARRIED OR HAVE DEPENDTS SINCE I DONT GET THAT EITHER. FORCE COLLEGES THAT CHARGE OUTLANDISH PRICES TO COME BACK DOWN TO REALITY. SINCE STADIUMS CAN SEAT 60 THOUSAND OR MORE AND ROYLITIES ARE BEING PAID TO SOMEONE FOR ALL THE COLLEGE SPORTS ON TV SOMEONE IS MAKEING SOME SERIOUS CASSSSHHHH. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST THERE SHOULD BE TERM LIMITS IN CONGRESS. AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE 401K PONZIE SKEEM THAT IS MAKING THE RICH RICHER…………..

  133. JIM MOORE says:

    IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT THOSE WHO WERE PROMISED CERTAIN MEDICAL BENEFITS (ENLISTED BEFORE
    1957)COULD NOT BE DENIED THOSE BENEFITS.
    ANYBODY GOT THE STRAIGHT SCOOP ON THIS?

    • My husband went into the Army in 1953. At that time he was promised by the recruiters and congress that the soldiers would have medical for life.

      There was a cut off date of 1957 and after 1957 could not be guaranteed.
      D. Capallia

      • my husband entered in 1961 and they still got you to reenlist by telling you to -remember if you stay just one more tour the free medical for life-in 1979
        when he last took a 4 year tour.

    • Jim, that is what I was told by the Tricare agent at the military installation here. Before 1957 are still being seen at the clinic. They are telling Medicare eligible patients/dependants who joined after 1957 that they have to find a civilian PCM and can't use the base doctors. They can still use the lab and pharmacy, but not doc's. So far my wife doesn't mind it. She doesn't have to copay or get referred to see a doctor downtown. To all who are screaming this is Obama's fault! They were trying to raise Tricare during the Bush administration also. I have a letter I copied from the AF Retiree Service dated 6 Aug 08, telling how they wanted to do it. I don't mind if they raise my Tricare rates., if they do it fairly. I've had my money's worth plus. I don't agree with doing it by rank. (This was also proposed earlier.) An E-6 retiring now makes more retirement ($1795) than an E-7 who retired 21 or so years ago. ($1634) I will be writing my Congressmen on the rank situation. Hope others do too.

      • proud American says:

        I retired in 2003, was stoplossed for 3 years, my base pay is like 1400 dollars, so I dont know where you came up with 1795

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Why should anyone who Retired from service to their country be excluded from health benefits. A lot of the worst damage done to vets were from Viet Nam on.

    • Wallace H Riley says:

      See: http://www.justice.gov/osg/briefs/2002/0responses….
      Basically the Military promissed free medical care for lift for its retirees, however the care was never authorized by congress.

    • USAF & CSRS Ret says:

      Good Memory…you are almost on target. AF Ret Col "Bud" Day headed up a Class Action Suit that many service members took part in with contributions and background information. After returning from Vietnam as a POW for 6 years, Col Day got his Law Degree and went after our problem of promised but inadequate….HealthCare for Life. This goes back to 1989 soon after I was able to get Tricare for Life (TFL) put into Law, to become the automatic secondary payer to Medicare Parts A and B for Retired military personnel of any pay grade, and any number of years service and regardless of their age. The key was that no insurance company in America issued a policy for Medicare Secondary unless the person was more than 65 years of age. Colonel Day pushed through many levels of the Courts with his Class Action suit, all the way to the Supreme Court. There he finally won his case. The results and that which the Class Action members received was "relief" but not as much as expected. The "Class" of all retired veterans was re-classified as
      "those members of the armed forces that were in active service prior to January 31, 1955, and retired from the service prior to or subsequent to that date." Thus the new class was established by the Supreme Court and it was determined that the Armed Forces did not give the "HealthCare for Life" as promised "prior to 1955". Those retiring after 1955 were no longer eligible. The Court awarded in lieu of the actual care, $10,000 remedial damages for each member of the class. However, the Federal Government is from year to year, appealing this award that Colonel Day fought for and won. The reasoning for the annual appeals is simple. The "Class" obviously is made up of old retirees, mostly those that started their career in World War II and Korea. Rather than payout $10,000 to each at this time, it is less expensive for the government to allow the interest to be added to the award, since the Court ruling was that the award, when paid, would be payable to the retiree only, and not to the Estate of the retiree in the event of their demise prior to receiving their Court award. In simple terms…the award is still out there to be paid, and with compounded interest, but only to the actual retiree, and more are dying each day than what the compounded interest comes up to. This is grossly unfair and one can only hope that the Supremes disallow further appeals by the government. Note: Arlington is working on approximately 28 burials daily, which is double what it was during the height of Vietnam, and this is due to the age of those that are retired and receiving their final entitlement, which is burial at Arlington for Retirees and Active Duty only, for the most part with minor exceptions. 2nd Note: The Court considered and appreciated that Tricare, and Tricare for Life were put in place by the Congress which then directed them to establish the class cutoff as January 31, 1955. (coincidentally, also the last date of benefits for the Korean War service.

    • Robert D. Mowrey says:

      In this day and age with Obama in charge, everything is very nebulous. I enlisted in 1947 and everything I earned is being challenged by his regime. Don't let his lowering of housing costs, etc. blind you to the fact that he needs another 4 years to completely socialize the country.

    • CharlesBryant says:

      JIM MOORE,

      On November 18, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals (voting 9-4) stated:

      In the end, because no actual authority existed for the recruiters’ promises of full free lifetime medical care, the plaintiffs cannot show a valid implied-in-fact contract. Thus, the plaintiffs’ claim must fail as a matter of law.

      On June 2, 2003, the Supreme Court denied the petition to review this case as well.

      Sourse: http://mrgrg-ms.org/crs1006e-the-issue-of-promise

      • Moral and legal? Mmmmmm. I'm guessing you have a dog in this fight and it sure as hell isn't retirees.

        • CharlesBryant says:

          IDMTmedic,

          I have no doggy in any fight, just posting the facts. I guess if you feel that by me posting these facts pits me against RETIREES so be it.

          It isn't as if I can change the opinion of the court don't you know?????

          • IDMTmedic says:

            So be it is right! You suck and continue to suck in regards to any retirees benefits. Hope you run for office because You would get one vote.

    • American! says:

      Get a copy of your enlistment contract. Find one that says free medical and get a certified copy to the VFW ASAP. They are out there!

  134. I'm getting ready to retire in a few months. My military treatment facility told me that after I retire they have no room for me and my family to be seen on post and I have to start being seen off-post by a a civilian doctor. Well guess what? Tricare is so bad and pays so little that I can't find a doctor that will take my family and myself, especially with the proposed Tricare payment cuts. So what do I do now? Thanks for the medical benefits after 20 years of service! Sarcasm!

  135. Donna VanDyck says:

    No one is lobbing for us, we have to take care of ourselves, just as we've always had to do. We veterans need to organize (we couldn't do that while active, but now we can). We need to march on Washington with our own two feet, wheel chairs, crutches, or what ever it takes to make our stance known to our elected officials in washington who believe themselves untouchable by the people who voted them there. Our other choice is to sit back and wait for the next broken promise to our nations most heroic citizens, those of us who were proud to defend the greatest country in the world. GET UP AND FIGHT AGAIN!

    • there many organizations that "lobby" for us vets. VFW, AMVETs, Foreign Legion, MOAA just to name a few. You should think about joining one of these organizations.

      • Obviously, they aren't doing any good, because if they were the subject of cutting our benefits would not even be on the table. Wouldn't even be getting close buddy.

  136. Veteran4Veterans says:

    Is any one else worried that the continued cuts in our forces are equal to the continued growth of China's military forces? Continuing to degrade our benefits and suck the life out of our pride in serving, is not a good way to inspire future generations into joining our military. So go ahead, Mr. Panetta, lets see who Rogers-up the next time we need the men and women of the United States to lay their lives on the line.

  137. English please….United States of America not the United States of Mexico.

  138. keithm81354 says:

    That's the biggest thing you don't hear. The government cutting it's own spending, reductions in their benefits and so on. It's always the little guy first! Clean up your own backyard Mr Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

  139. Now we know how the native americans feel and felt. The great white father still speaks with forked tongue.

  140. How about COngress cutting its "bennies" and that money can be used to offset TRICARE costs!

  141. Donna Van Dyck says:

    ARE WE JUST GONNA SIT BY AND COMPLAIN, OR WILL WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I say let's organize and march on Washington to show them that we are just INVISIBLE VOICES

  142. Philip Sowers says:

    Just another promise broken by this country to it' s veterans.

  143. What do you expect from the folks that are bringing you 'fundamental transformation'???
    The goal is to have a one world order and a rainbow colored flag – because living in America means feeling guilty and apologizing!
    This is just one of the pieces to that goal…….

  144. Discrimination, is supposed to be against the law.

    We pay for our Tri-care insurance, it isn't a free benefit.

    Tricare, is only "group insurance", nothing more.

  145. Does anyone know if Leon Panetta has actually "served" his country like a man, or has he always been a political lackey> JWY

  146. All this is part of Obama care.The big boys could care less about us.i served 22 years and am 60% disabled and I earned everything I get for benefits.Let the fat boys in Washington take the cuts.The best way to take action is to make sure Obama does not get relected.

  147. catchesthewnd says:

    If D O D would return the empty shipping containers on time instead of wasting billions on late fees folks on the hill wouldnt need to touch tri-care. And isnt it a mystery that the folks working on the dod budget trying to find the missing trillion dollars took a direct hit on 9-11. I for one am tired of Congressional incompetence, DOD incompetence, fiscally speaking, and the poor taxpayers and retirees having to take the hit..

  148. sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

    In answer to how many E-4 and E-5′s there could be that are retired… My husband, an E-5 at the time, was catastrophically wounded and “imminent death retired” by the Army in 2003 after. Being the only surviver of an ODD attack while guarding a children hospital in Iraq. He is 100% and housebound for his PTSD and 100% schedular. For the loss of his right leg above the knee and loss of his left eye due shrapnel traveling though his lower lid and eyeball and lodging in the left temporal lobe of his brain causing a severe traumatic brain injury. He also has approximately 3k pieces of embedded shrapnel in his body, a left leg salvage, 2nd degree burns, HTN, a mysterious rash that nothing has fixed, 2 fractured vertebra with displacement and spinal cord involvement along with some smaller/other medical issues from his service in Iraq. The majority of wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are E-5 and below. My husband is unemployable per VA due to his disabling injuries. I had the leave my career in 2008 when we could no longer find volunteers to assist hubby while I worked nor could we afford to hire someone to come it. We live very frugally and don’t use credit cards. Under the proposed changes for working aged retirees our premiums would go up again after just having been raised in October 2011. We are okay with this as we still pay considerably less than commercial insurance would cost us considering my husbands injuries and how that jacks up premiums. But lowering the already lousy reimbursement rates for providers? There tgree PCM’s in our townn that take Tricare and only ONE GYN. We already drive four hours round trip to my husbands many VA appointments – most of them scheduled on different days instead of VA bundling several on each day. Now imagine the few PCM’s. In town recueving LESS reimbursement than they do currently from Tricare! I would then also need to travel in order to receive healthcare. Does it seem fair to charge working aged Retirees more for premiums without considering that some Vets are unemployable due to disability and their spouse had the leave their lucrative career because the Vet *must* have full time care and supervision? I attempted a work from home job last year to bring in more income but I was unable to make the home job work with the level of care my husband requires. We don’t struggle much to make ends meet because we have adjusted our lifestyle and spending since I left my career. What would be a hardship would be traveling outside our town for my healthcare. Precious little time can be carved out for my needs as is and I fear fewer providers due to lousy reimbursements would cause my healthcare needs falling by the wayside. We are two hours from Barksdale (one way), three hours from Fort Hood and two and a half hours from the Fort Worth JRB. Fort Bliss is 12 hours from us. As you can see, an MTF’s is not really an option for us. We have been very active in contacting our Reps and Senators but have had zero response other than the form letters saying than you for contacting blah blah blah. We have a $300 deductible and a $3000 catastrophic cap each year and use the home delivery RX option to save money.
    So, for the person who made assumptions about E-4 and E-5 retirees – you might want to research the numbers of severely wounded and wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. These changes *could* potentially cause Sounded Warrior families to no longer be able to afford health and dental insurancefor themselves. I truly don’t believe that the true impact of such changes have been considered because it either does affect the legislators or folks like the poster I mentioned above have forgotten our Wounded and their families and are uninformed as to the number of disabled Vets from the current current conflict cannot work due to disability and how many spouses had to leave jobs and careers to care for their Veteran.
    Also, are you aware tat the VA and SSDI compensation got their first COLA increases since 2009 this month? I have zero sympathy for our Government officials who did not get COLA increases during the same time period. Government officials and poor oversight on wasteful spending are the reason this country is in the shape it is in currently.

  149. In answer to how many E-4 and E-5′s there could be that are retired… My husband, an E-5 at the time, was catastrophically wounded and “imminent death retired” by the Army in 2003 after. Being the only surviver of an ODD attack while guarding a children hospital in Iraq. He is 100% and housebound for his PTSD and 100% schedular. For the loss of his right leg above the knee and loss of his left eye due shrapnel traveling though his lower lid and eyeball and lodging in the left temporal lobe of his brain causing a severe traumatic brain injury. He also has approximately 3k pieces of embedded shrapnel in his body, a left leg salvage, 2nd degree burns, HTN, a mysterious rash that nothing has fixed, 2 fractured vertebra with displacement and spinal cord involvement along with some smaller/other medical issues from his service in Iraq. The majority of wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are E-5 and below. My husband is unemployable per VA due to his disabling injuries. I had the leave my career in 2008 when we could no longer find volunteers to assist hubby while I worked nor could we afford to hire someone to come it. We live very frugally and don’t use credit cards. Under the proposed changes for working aged retirees our premiums would go up again after just having been raised in October 2011. We are okay with this as we still pay considerably less than commercial insurance would cost us considering my husbands injuries and how that jacks up premiums. But lowering the already lousy reimbursement rates for providers? There tgree PCM’s in our townn that take Tricare and only ONE GYN. We already drive four hours round trip to my husbands many VA appointments – most of them scheduled on different days instead of VA bundling several on each day. Now imagine the few PCM’s. In town recueving LESS reimbursement than they do currently from Tricare! I would then also need to travel in order to receive healthcare. Does it seem fair to charge working aged Retirees more for premiums without considering that some Vets are unemployable due to disability and their spouse had the leave their lucrative career because the Vet *must* have full time care and supervision? I attempted a work from home job last year to bring in more income but I was unable to make the home job work with the level of care my husband requires. We don’t struggle much to make ends meet because we have adjusted our lifestyle and spending since I left my career. What would be a hardship would be traveling outside our town for my healthcare. Precious little time can be carved out for my needs as is and I fear fewer providers due to lousy reimbursements would cause my healthcare needs falling by the wayside. We are two hours from Barksdale (one way), three hours from Fort Hood and two and a half hours from the Fort Worth JRB. Fort Bliss is 12 hours from us. As you can see, an MTF’s is not really an option for us. We have been very active in contacting our Reps and Senators but have had zero response other than the form letters saying than you for contacting blah blah blah. We have a $300 deductible and a $3000 catastrophic cap each year and use the home delivery RX option to save money.
    So, for the person who made assumptions about E-4 and E-5 retirees – you might want to research the numbers of severely wounded and wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. These changes *could* potentially cause Sounded Warrior families to no longer be able to afford health and dental insurancefor themselves. I truly don’t believe that the true impact of such changes have been considered because it either does affect the legislators or folks like the poster I mentioned above have forgotten our Wounded and their families and are uninformed as to the number of disabled Vets from the current current conflict cannot work due to disability and how many spouses had to leave jobs and careers to care for their Veteran.
    Also, are you aware tat the VA and SSDI compensation got their first COLA increases since 2009 this month? I have zero sympathy for our Government officials who did not get COLA increases during the same time period. Government officials and poor oversight on wasteful spending are the reason this country is in the shape it is in currently.

    • SFC Birdwell(ret) says:

      I hope you got SS disability for your husband? That will help with the increase in costs to come. I am disabled also, but with the two incomes I seem to do OK these days. I will have the choice next year to take Medicare if I want it and that would make TriCare the secondary. Unless we the people demand that our government officials get the healthcare programs they want us to have and damand they receive the same wages/benefits as the military, its only going to get worse. I believe its a logical salution!

      • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

        Yes, my husband has SSDI and Medicare primary and Tricare secondary.

        If you are combat wounded make sure you check out CRSC if under 20 years of service or CRDP if 20 or more years of service. In addition to that, if you require assistance with ADL's by your spouse or someone else in your family make sure to look into the Family Caregiver program.

    • frank desmith sr says:

      i am a retied vetran but am fortunate. i am a kidney dyalisis paitent. i started loosing the function of my kidneys while serving in the military. my wife uses my retired insurance and it is difficult to get her to see a doctor also. she has been dropped by alot family doctors canceling out our medical insurance. also we live in a semi large city area but still between all the major hospitals and clinicts its still hard to get an appointment for special procedures she needs done. what happened to that thank you for fighting over seas for us and taking care of our own!! i think its a politican pawn for us to back our politicians for support. they spent millions of dollars on our banks to have them party with it and give bonusous out with it instead of using it to strengthen our economy and i beleave thats why we are sufforing from this financial crissis. and now its us the military that have to pay for it again and again and again!!

  150. Here we go again! What do we have left as a military retiree????? We protect the country in one form or another and now we get crapped on. Promises Promises Promises!!! All broken. We protect this country so the elected officials can do this to us. It's time to kick them all out of Congress by our vote. Also why do they get retirement pay after only serving one term in office? Why can't they cut their retirement and pay more for their medical benefits??? Let's see how they feel!!!!

  151. In answer to how many E-4 and E-5's there could be that are retired… My husband, an E-5 at the time, was catastrophically wounded and "imminent death retired" by the Army in 2003 after. Being the only surviver of an ODD attack while guarding a children hospital in Iraq. He is 100% and housebound for his PTSD and 100% schedular. For the loss of his right leg above the knee and loss of his left eye due shrapnel traveling though his lower lid and eyeball and lodging in the left temporal lobe of his brain causing a severe traumatic brain injury. He also has approximately 3k pieces of embedded shrapnel in his body, a left leg salvage, 2nd degree burns, HTN, a mysterious rash that nothing has fixed, 2 fractured vertebra with displacement and spinal cord involvement along with some smaller/other medical issues from his service in Iraq. The majority of wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are E-5 and below. My husband is unemployable per VA due to his disabling injuries. I had the leave my career in 2008 when we could no longer find volunteers to assist hubby while I worked nor could we afford to hire someone to come it. We live very frugally and don't use credit cards. Under the proposed changes for working aged retirees our premiums would go up again after just having been raised in October 2011. We are okay with this as we still pay considerably less than commercial insurance would cost us considering my husbands injuries and how that jacks up premiums. But lowering the already lousy reimbursement rates for providers? There tgree PCM's in our townn that take Tricare and only ONE GYN. We already drive four hours round trip to my husbands many VA appointments – most of them scheduled on different days instead of VA bundling several on each day. Now imagine the few PCM's. In town recueving LESS reimbursement than they do currently from Tricare! I would then also need to travel in order to receive healthcare. Does it seem fair to charge working aged Retirees more for premiums without considering that some Vets are unemployable due to disability and their spouse had the leave their lucrative career because the Vet *must* have full time care and supervision? I attempted a work from home job last year to bring in more income but I was unable to make the home job work with the level of care my husband requires. We don't struggle much to make ends meet because we have adjusted our lifestyle and spending since I left my career. What would be a hardship would be traveling outside our town for my healthcare. Precious little time can be carved out for my needs as is and I fear fewer providers due to lousy reimbursements would cause my healthcare needs falling by the wayside. We are two hours from Barksdale (one way), three hours from Fort Hood and two and a half hours from the Fort Worth JRB. Fort Bliss is 12 hours from us. As you can see, an MTF's is not really an option for us. We have been very active in contacting our Reps and Senators but have had zero response other than the form letters saying than you for contacting blah blah blah. We have a $300 deductible and a $3000 catastrophic cap each year and use the home delivery RX option to save money.
    So, for the person who made assumptions about E-4 and E-5 retirees – you might want to research the numbers of severely wounded and wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. These changes *could* potentially cause Sounded Warrior families to no longer be able to afford health and dental insurancefor themselves. I truly don't believe that the true impact of such changes have been considered because it either does affect the legislators or folks like the poster I mentioned above have forgotten our Wounded and their families and are uninformed as to the number of disabled Vets from the current current conflict cannot work due to disability and how many spouses had to leave jobs and careers to care for their Veteran.
    Also, are you aware tat the VA and SSDI compensation got their first COLA increases since 2009 this month? I have zero sympathy for our Government officials who did not get COLA increases during the same time period. Government officials and poor oversight on wasteful spending are the reason this country is in the shape it is in currently.

    • AF/Army retired says:

      Sorry for your distress, but this is why voting matters. You cannot elect anti military politicians at any time. Not only does it deny older vets promised benefits, but also the current injured.

      • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

        So, now folks are assuming that they know if and/or how I voted??? No need to make assumptions with me – I was in the Army and National Guard for 8 years and I can answer questions for you so you don't end up looking like a fool…

    • You are facing a rediculous hardship because your husband like many others went to fight for his country. It amazes me that our representatives get such lucrative pay and benefits while our military continue to be an easy target to use when trying to reduce the economic hole that the reps got us into. I never see them calling to reduce thier own benefits.

  152. J.A.Brown says:

    One more time – what in the h— is considered a working age Retiree? At age 64 -military AND civilian retired and on social security I don't need to be considered " Working Age"

    • A working age retiree is one who has retired from the military, but is not yet eligible for for Medicare benefits (Age 65)…Thus, their medical payments come from Tricare.

      • sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

        My husband is 46. He was catastrophically wounded in 2003 in Iraq. He has SSDI and Medicare parts A and B but is STILL considered "working age". Sadly, due to his disabling injuries from being blown up, he cannot get or hold a job. Hell, some days he can't even get out of pain due to the severe physical pain and the hole the PTSD drags him in to. He requires constant care and supervision, which I provide. I had to leave my career to do this though.

        Riddle me how "working aged" retirees in this scenerio can afford to pay more when they have no ability to earn more???

        • If he was catastrophically wounded in Iraq, he should qualify for VA care. This proposal (which I oppose) does NOT affect VA care. If he is not getting VA care, please contact DAV and they will help get him the care he needs.

  153. Rosetta Bullock says:

    Retired military, disabled and decease veterans are beening used again by the
    Congress and Senate leaders that we voted for. They will keep their health care that we are paying for. Of course they want to blame the President for the situation we are in. What about them who are so hung up on keeping him frrom doing his job, because he is not the color they want in the White House, that they will continue to screw military personnel, retired military, disabled and deceased military and their families. What happen to " Justice for All". and "We the People".

    • R McGrail says:

      what happened === BIG MONEY, POLITICIANS, BIG BUSINESS, PAID OFF POLITICIANS, PORK BARREL FAT FRIENDS, THE GREED OF ALL OF CINGRESS

  154. I enlisted during the Vietnam era and was promised at enlistment free medical care for life if I made it a career. This is B.S.!

    • Going on 30 years of service, change will always happen in todays world.
      I have had many changes in the past and I know more will come. Would be nice to know what they will be, but not possible, have to wait and see. Also grandfather clause is/wil not be used in the military english language.
      Just another soldier in line and fight n for the benies.

    • R McGrail says:

      I to enlisted before Vietnam, promised retirement and free medical for life,, retire4d in 1992, I have watched our benifits slowly be taken away, The president and congress give them selves pay raises, pay no medical periumes — get full retirement benifits for one term NOT 20 YEARS of service, full medical benitits and DO NOT GIVE A DAM about the rest of us,
      GET RICH ON INSIDER TRADING WHILE IN OFFICE.
      I DO UNDER WE CAN NOT CONTINUE SPENDING THE WAY WE DO,,,
      But comeon let us make cuts for ALL. the President all of Congress, Fereral employees, Unions and so on all the way down the Line,,,
      If this is done I do not believe any of us say a word

  155. And they want to run the National Medical Health Insurance… we lose again!
    We have time to make our stand, let’s make this Memorial Day (May 28, 2012) a day to remember in history. The sacrifice came from the men and women who served their country, not the members in our congress and senate who sacrifice cutting our benefit.

  156. sgt.armstrongs.mrs says:

    *Sorry for the double post with so many mis spellings. I posted from my cell but got error messages saying it did not post. Here is a corrected version so it is easier to understand.*

    In answer to how many E-4 and E-5's there could be that are retired… My husband, an E-5 at the time, was catastrophically wounded and "imminent death retired" by the Army in 2003 after. Being the only survivor of an IED attack while guarding a children hospital in Iraq. He is 100% and housebound for his PTSD and 100% schedular. For the loss of his right leg above the knee and loss of his left eye due shrapnel traveling though his lower lid and eyeball and lodging in the left temporal lobe of his brain causing a severe traumatic brain injury. He also has approximately 3k pieces of embedded shrapnel in his body, a left leg salvage, 2nd degree burns, HTN, a mysterious rash that nothing has fixed, 2 fractured vertebra with displacement and spinal cord involvement along with some smaller/other medical issues from his service in Iraq. The majority of wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are E-5 and below. My husband is unemployable per VA due to his disabling injuries. I had the leave my career in 2008 when we could no longer find volunteers to assist hubby while I worked nor could we afford to hire someone to come it. We live very frugally and don't use credit cards. Under the proposed changes for working aged retirees our premiums would go up again after just having been raised in October 2011. We are okay with this as we still pay considerably less than commercial insurance would cost us considering my husbands injuries and how that jacks up premiums. But lowering the already lousy reimbursement rates for providers? There are three PCM's in our town that take Tricare and only ONE GYN. We already drive four hours round trip to my husbands many VA appointments – most of them scheduled on different days instead of VA bundling several on each day. Now imagine the few PCM's. In town receiving LESS reimbursement than they do currently from Tricare! I would then also need to travel in order to receive healthcare. Does it seem fair to charge working aged Retirees more for premiums without considering that some Vets are unemployable due to disability related to their Military service and their spouse who had the leave their lucrative career because the Vet *must* have full time care and supervision? I attempted a work from home job last year to bring in more income but I was unable to make the home job work with the level of care my husband requires. We don't struggle much to make ends meet because we have adjusted our lifestyle and spending since I left my career. What would be a hardship would be traveling outside our town for my healthcare. Precious little time can be carved out for my needs as is and I fear fewer providers due to lousy reimbursements would cause my healthcare needs falling by the wayside. We are two hours from Barksdale AFB, three hours from Fort Hood and two and a half hours from the Fort Worth JRB. Fort Bliss is 12 hours from us. (And these are just one way times!) As you can see, an MTF is not really an option for us. We have been very active in contacting our Reps and Senators but have had zero response other than the form letters saying thank you for contacting blah blah blah. We have a $300 deductible and a $3000 catastrophic cap each year and use the home delivery RX option to save money.
    So, for the person who made assumptions about E-4 and E-5 retirees – you might want to research the numbers of severely wounded and wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. These changes *could* potentially cause Wounded Warrior families to no longer be able to afford health and dental insurance for themselves. I truly don't believe that the realistic impact of such changes have been considered because it either does affect the legislators or folks like the poster I mentioned above have forgotten our Wounded and their families and are uninformed as to the number of disabled Vets from the current and recent conflicts who cannot work due to disability and how many spouses had to leave jobs and careers to care for their Veteran.
    Also, are you aware tat the VA and SSDI compensation got their first COLA increases since 2009 this month? I have zero sympathy for our Government officials who did not get COLA increases during the same time period. Government officials and poor oversight on wasteful spending are the reason this country is in the shape it is in currently.

  157. As a retiree I am grateful for Tricare especially as it relates to medication coverage. I am also grateful to live in a country where I can vote. Big power still resides in Congress in the House of Representatives. Congressional action takes both passing a bill and and funding the bill. The House and the Senate still have the power to override a Presidential veto. The current proposed cuts are the result of the actions or inaction of the House/Senate that include debt ceiling limit followed by the Super Committee failure and the automatics cuts

  158. everyone that is worried about this situation should stop and read the Obama Health care plan first. Understand what this man is trying to do for all of us. That is turn this country around. Find out why all Republicans, the Doctors, Pharmaceutical company are fight against this Obama plan.
    i did my 20 years i have no problem i get 50% for disability. So i know what this ruling might mean for all of us. but i remember while in the military WE all learned one very important thing. ADAPT AND OVER COME ANY SITUATION IN FRONT OF US.
    I am not from his party but i do agree with what his trying to do for the country. If you read the Obama Health Care Plan alot of your answers will be answered. Knowledge is power.
    I am no one special person I work at a warehouse but i have some sort of knowledge because what to know my future and who or what is going change. Work together WORK FOR THE USA………

    • So, what's he trying to do for the country??

      What exactly was soooo wrong with America before The One came along??
      What exactly was the point behind "hope and change"?? What were the flaws behind a republic that has survived since before 1776, the flaws that thousands have given up their lives to defend??
      America is what it is because it's not like OTHER COUNTRY'S….
      Obama's vision for America, his legacy, is to guilt us into a new Europe – a place where everyone is entitled to everything, a place where there are no free thinkers or individual rights – the rights that LEGAL citizens deserve!
      The rights that thousand have sacrificed to give us.
      Americans have the choice, the right and the opportunity to succeed or fail…independent of the federal government.
      Not because the president says so and not because it's part of some Kumbaya agenda.

      A 'true' president, a 'true' democratic government has no agenda – a TRUE democratic government's job is to defend and uphold the Constitution, everything else is politics!

      • WHITE FEATHERS says:

        FRANKY——You must work within his cabinet,,pay your back taxes and when he leaves go find yourself a REAL JOB…

    • Do you remember obamacare is not suppose to affect tricare recepicents. I don't know about you but i take to heart when it cuts 500 billion dollars from MEDICARE. Did you know that if you are over 70 years old under obamacare you are expendable and what i mean by expendable NO costly health care cost. So you can take obamacare and put it where sun don't shine.

    • If Obamacare is so good, why is Obama, the Senate and Congress exempt from it. IT WILL RUIN THE USA FOREVER!!!!

    • JAE-RetCMSGT says:

      You are correct Franky. Obama is doing what is right. The ACR is good for the country…all of the country. When I am eligible for Tri-Care for life next year, I will be greatful. If I have to pay an increased co-pay or whatever, I will still be greatful. Probably will be better than what is offered by the insurance companies. These are the guys who keep sticking it to their policy holders and I guarantee you if they had their way, their would be bigger payments for access and less pay to providers. They are in it for the profit not your health.

    • Bill ret. E9 says:

      Frank I'm sad to say you missed a few paragrahs. You missed the part that said Ms Sabielles would determine the definition of the exemption qualifications for certian contarceptive services and abortions that could be granted. Turns out if you an employee of Catholic Healthcare and object on moral grounds TUFF. Oh! you can gain an exemption but your must close the doors to all Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Hindus, Budists, other non-Catholic patients and Oh! yes you too athiests. Take your heart attack or stroke soem where else. This is just one of many items burried in the bill including rationing. But maybe your second career put you in one of the many Unions that did get an exemption from Obamacare.

      Shipmate werer loosing our country to Socialism, our liberties are being curtailed and in some cases taken away. Try not to be to much of a terrorist suspect or you might be arrested and detained in GITMO wihtout trial. Frank you need to some more reading and this time try wihtout the I Love Obama Glasses wihile sipping the liberal leftist cool-aid.

    • DONALD HEAD says:

      EVIDENTLY YOU AN DOROTHY WENT TO THE LAND OF OZ TOGETHER. GET IT??????

    • If our government can't deliver and keep its promises to veterans (the 1%) who have served their county, what makes you think they will keep their promises in the Obama healthcare plan? or any healthcare plan for that matter, including medicare. All one has to do is look at the history of these programs in the US and this socialized philosophy (consider Europe, Greece, etc. if you want to see where we're headed) of womb to tomb benefits and the ultimate result is more debt, less quality, less availability and an equal distribution of misery for all concerned.

    • YOU ARE PROBABLY A UNION GUY THAT KNOWS OBAMA WILL SUPPORT YOU FOR YOUR VOTE!! ADAPT REPLACE THE DANGER IS THE CODE. NOT STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND AND HOPE FOR RESCURE

    • Is Obama good for this country, He hates it , he wont salute the flag, he bows to King;s off other countries, he wont produce a birth certificate, do you know where he we went to school or college, do you know of any one that knew him before he was in politics what is his background I think that we have a lot wolk finding out about Obama before we let him go any farther

    • ed Wischmeyer says:

      The real big problem with the Obama Care Plan is that no one was allowed to read the bill that will destroy the country I fought for in the first place. It is nothing more than a plan to rule the lives of every American citizen. I did my twenty , too, but not for the people who want to rule my life and tell me that after a certain age I cannot see a doctor for what ails me. You better read the parts of the bill that will take away your life's work also. Page 50. Section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-US residents even if they are here illegally. Page 65 / Section 164: The plan will subsidize (by te Government for all lunion retirees and lfor community organizations (ACORN). Page 272. Section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration care according to the patient's age.
      This bill ws passed illegally and unscrupulously by those who could care less about wether or not is constitutional or not, and it is not.!!!

  159. @ Franky
    If we cant afford health care for the 1% of the population who have served their country. What makes you think that their is a plan that is affordable and will work for a much larger percentage of society. Does anyone else not see the Irony? At the same time that they are cutting Military Health Care due to its high cost they are pushing for a national health care plan that would encompass a much larger group of people and they want us to believe that it would be effective, and affordable (for the Country). Franky you might want to go back and read that plan and ask yourself why those benefits their promising arnt working for the military.

  160. USAFAIRTRAFFIC(RET) says:

    EdUSMCret
    Its good to play devils advocate and get all of our (retirees) opinions. If you are what you say keep advocating for us (veteran's) and thank you for continuing the fight. You should propose some cuts to all these congressman and ever harsher cuts on their aides. Seriously? How many aides do they need per person. And what do they do to deserve better pay and benefits than a veteran that's served 20 years or even <10 years. I bet they've never spent more than a week away from loved ones, and I can guarentee that their loved ones have never had to quit a job, raise a child alone. Let's get to the meat of the problem over the top spending, if they're going to f*ck with our retirement benefits why not show the country that it's acceptable to take a 'hit' on benefits and take some themselves. They should also make a mandatory time for serving before getting retirement, 20 years sounds like a good number….let's see how many congressman would make it a career then. (If they get re-elected)

    • Barry-O needs to serve a tour in the desert. He needs to wear the same grimy DCU's, live in the same 20 man tent 100 yards from the community latrine, eat the same food (when he can eat at all), be on call and work the same hours as we had to, be fitted for a gas mask and charcoal filled chem gear, and pull guard duty, TCN duty, and get the same "scheduled" 1 day off a week we had.
      THEN we'll see how much defense he wants to cut.

    • George Maher says:

      Just like I told my elected officials: I partially paid for my Tricare with 20 years of service which I cannot take back. I get less than $1500 per month. They should definately look at the comparison of their pay and mine, their military service and mine before deciding where to cut. I could easily beccome one of the 99%. There is adiquate reason to think like they do.

      George Maher, UTC USN/Retired

  161. We are an inviting target for cuts and I hope that the American people will stand up for us the way that we stand up for them and say "No," but if history is any guide, this is probably not going to happen. Therefore, it is important that we support our veteran's organizations and that we take the initiative to write our elected representatives asking them to support those who have sacrificed so much for the defense of this nation. Our efforts benefit all Americans every single day.

    • Quit asking for "others to stand up for us". We need to stand up for ourselves. Everyone is forgetting that we no longer at the mercy of our "superiors", we no longer have to take orders. By presenting ourselves to Washington IN PERSON AND IN MASS, we can give them the message that WE ARE MAD AND WE AREN'T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!! Or, we can sit on our duffs, continue to complain from the comfort of our homes, with our dwindling healthcare and our dwindling money and continue to TAKE ORDERS when we no longer have to.

  162. Desert Soldier says:

    It's just the administration experimenting with means testing with the only federal program that doesn't have enough votes to impact the DC lifestyle they enjoy. If means testing will save the republic fine… I served to protect her I can sacrifice again to do it… But consider all the strap hangers in Washington who enjoy greater benefits than the military and have not sacrificed anything at any time for their numerous perks… They shouldn't be shy go ahead and means test everybody….

  163. We shouldn't complain because even if Tricare is in trouble with defense budget cuts, at least the Secretary of Defense is not cutting the aid that we give to Israel, more than $15 million a day. As a matter of fact, Israel is the only department that doesn't have to make any sacrifices and instead, will be receiving more. This makes me feel much better knowing that my medical benefits may be in danger but the aid we give to Israel will never be threatened. This will help Israel to demolish more Palestinian homes, confiscate more of their land, and build more illegal Jewish settlements which in turn will create more Middle East violence and more wars.

    • Bob Griffin says:

      Israel is our main enemy. I'm still pissed off at the attack on the USS Liberty, that murdered 34 Americans in June, 1967. In 1948, Sec of State George C. Marshall pleaded with Truman NOT to vote for the existance of Israel, knowing full well what lay in the future. Our men are dying for Israel as we speak. We had no middle east (Arabs) enemies before 1948.

      • CharlesBryant says:

        Bob Griffin,

        ????? You guys ought to get your stories straight, one guy on here said the Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts are about oil!

        • AND what's your point? How about YOU fight for the RETIREES and the VETS. Unless your an FN lawyer which may make sense, but I doubt it then STFU. Your not the moderator, the self proclaimed corrector of facts or ELECTED to any dam thing. Let's all take a vote and see how many would vote for Charles ot Retiree to run for any office?

          • CharlesBryant says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "AND what's your point?"

            Sorry, not going back over that.

            "How about YOU fight for the RETIREES and the VETS."

            Why would I agrue against my own opinion?????

            "Unless your an FN lawyer which may make sense, but I doubt it then STFU."

            No, not a Lawyer, just a retiree.

            "Your not the moderator, the self proclaimed corrector of facts or ELECTED to any dam thing."

            What gave it away that I am not a moderator????? And no, I am not proclaimed or ELECTED to anything, just a simple retiree.

            "Let's all take a vote and see how many would vote for Charles ot Retiree to run for any office?"

            Ok, let me know how that turns out.

          • IDMTmedic says:

            I'll tell you one FN vote!!!!!!

        • Baltimore Bob says:

          Charlie…I never mentioned Iraq or Afghanistan. Why do people think Israel is our Ally? We will pay for what the Israeli lobyists are doing in our Congress!

    • Baltimore Bob says:

      Israel is our worst enemy! When they attacked the USS Liberty in June, 1967, we did nothing about it. 34 Americans were murdered. Read the book about it. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Thomas Moorer said it was intentional. Israel's lobby is too powerful in Congress.

  164. Everyone who serves deserves the benefits for serving their country. Perhaps Congress should serve 20 yrs before they get a pension/medical benefits. I commend all of you who are Patriotic and believe that they just lucky to get anything, but if you continue to think this way we will surely return to the days after WWI when our VETS were homeless and had very little benefits. Those who serve deserve entitlements, do not confuse entitlement with laziness. Wake up – Our country is great because those who went before us and continue to fight for our freedom. They deserve the best that this country has to offer. Freedom isn't free – its earned by does who protect it.

    • couldn't have said it any better monty!!!

    • R McGrail says:

      AMEN to that!!! You are sure wright We should thank those WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US (ALL MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED SERVICES, past Presidents and Congress Men and Women) for the good things they have done for us. BUT we have no representation in washington for none of them have seen military action (ASS ON THE LINE IN HARMS WAY 24/7 365, BEING SHOT AT AND SHOOTING BACK, KILLING AND BEING KILLED !!! I gave 32 years to this country so the People of this Great Country could sleep in peace at night, be free, vote, speak freely believe in what ever they wanted, to be treated like this a poor dam second class cetizen. GOD BLESS AMERICA we sure as hell need alot of help

  165. CDR Bill Tucker says:

    http://www.billtuckerforpresident.com

    I will fight for your benefits!

    • R McGrail says:

      CDR this is a brave stand But lets be real neither YOU NOR I(RETIRED NAVY CHIEF) could ever raise enough money to run against BIG MONEY, BIG BUSINESS or all the lifers in congress. We the People no longer have a say in how this country is run.
      On election Day voting all of Washington out of office we still would be ru8n by BIG MONEY AND BIG BUSINESS…

  166. Richard L. Williams says:

    When I joined the Navy in 1962 the recruiter promised me that if I stayed in the service 20 or more years, myself and my spouse would be taken care of medically for the remainder of our lives. Over the years we have been giving up our medical care. Finally the government came up with Tri-Care for life for those of us over 65, combined with Medicare we basically got what we were promised when we enlisted. Now the government wants to screw us again. Why is it always those who faced death for their country are the ones who get shafted by the country they protected?

  167. I spent 20yrs in the Corps and was told when I entered in 1990 that Medical along with dental was for life after 20yrs of service. Dental went away while I was on active duty and now that I'm retired ( with injuries sustained while in Afghanistan ) they are trying to do away with medical. Our elected officials who have not served in any branch of the military, are being allowed to make decisions on behalf of everyone who has worn or is currently in uniform.
    WTF ?

    That super committee couldn't come together on a solid deficit reduction plan so the Govt is going to cut benefits for the military ? Why ? because we are allowing them to do so.

    - I've been witness more times than I can count to wasteful spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, nobody that served over there can tell me or anyone else otherwise !!!

    I still can't understand how this his happening ?

    • This is happening because WE are allowing it to happen by sitting on our unhappy butts instead of getting to our feet and organizing a march on Washington. You see it makes them happy when we do nothing but complain. It's how we empower them to take away our benefits. When they see the whites of our eyes, they will know not to mess with us. So everyone, get up, get your canes, wheelchairs, oxygen, or whatever you need to get mobilized and let's go kick butt. Did it not work for the UNIONS, and the 99'ers, heck, even Pelosi thought that was a great thing. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE THEM LISTEN TO US. We need to do it now, before we have nothing left, then we can really cry

  168. god bless america, I retired this year, but if you need me you "puedes contar conmigo"

  169. Political Cynic says:

    I'm reading this and thinking about a well-heeled retired buddy (a retired warrant) VA for all his medical care—what kind of means testing do THEY have??? This guy owns half the county he lives in and he has FIVE 'domiciles' around the country.

  170. I think that when congress, senate and other lifers in our government reduce their benefits they can reduce ours! It is very disheartening to learn that what you were promised is no longer there! How dare you ! We all need to bond together and fight this, even if it means doing what the wall street protesters are doing!

  171. Why in God's name should we listen to anything that you Obama lovers have to say. I for one have had enough of this damned "Change". Let's see, Obama has doubled our national debt in 3, almost 4 years that he has been in charge. He doubled it from what is was(Washington-Bush) We need to fight for our rights as Retirees and Service Members. I cannot do what I wanted to do as a civilian due to injuries from the sandbox. The least the gov't can do is our leave stuff alone. So screw all you obama lovers/supporters, pull your heads out. If you voted in 2008 to prove you weren't a racist, Vote in 2012 to prove you're not a Moron.

    • Couldn't have said it better

    • Wrong. If you count for the increase in the debt due to lost revenue in the recession, you will see that the actions of Bush and Cheney created the bulk of the debt. If you put the responsibility for the crash of the housing market on the fraudulent packaging of loans and the origination of those loans to make a quick buck, it's pretty clear that Obama who governs as more of a centrist than Clinton did, has done a lot to bring us out of the recession.

      You cannot make a credible argument that Bush was right in saying that his tax cuts actually helped the economy and then say that Obama's stimulus and tax cuts did not help the economy. If you understand the economy at all, you know that the tax cuts coupled with outrageous spending set us up for a fall. The stimulus was necessary to stop the bleeding and possible slide into a depression.

      • Knowing that Bush's degree was an MBA, I have to think that so much, like that war, and several domestic programs, went unfunded or partially unfunded, was a method to keep the numbers in his administration looking good just long enough to get him through a second term. Thanks to a huge dose of fear that without him our country was about to be bombed to smithereens (not openly stated but implied) he had no reason to call moving men. So he did what he was trained to do. Now, I believe that most MBAs are honest folk, but being in the field would allow one knowledge of how to cook the books. Being able to "unfund" programs in a way that would not be discovered until after he was no longer in the kitchen to take the heat would be a possible talent. Just sayin'…

  172. TSGT USAF RT says:

    It'st just like when they" Took Jesus out of the public schools", everybody talks about it but nobody stands up to be counted. We are a small group, compared to the total population, but so was Madeline Murry O'Hara! Stand up, write letters, make phone calls, check out all the bennies that Congress gets, let all the population know the real facts.

    • I say, stand up and march on Washington, cause don't you know they throw our letters away, or just ignore them. The only way they will listen is when they see the whites of our eyes. Anything less is wasted useless thinking

  173. Your pay at whatever job you have is an entitlement. Your employer agrees to give cerain benefits under a contracted plan. The government contracted to give me certain benefits if I would serve that government for 20 years or more. The government made the offer. I took up that offer and did my part for over 20 years.

  174. Some writers have shown examples of retirees that are doing very well financially speaking. If they worked to get the "extra" that they have, more power to them. Obama and his cronies, especially Panetta, are clueless as to why we even have a military. Now you can get Food Stamps and other handout for never having done anything for your country. Benefits for Bums also goes to families of illegals if they have U.S. citizen children. If you works many years and accumulate whatever you think it takes to be comfortable some years in the future and you have never had any military service, I want my share of your money and your stuff since you sure seem to want some of mine. Economic equality is economic poverty as it would redistribute all money, resources, assets from top to bottom except for Obama and friends. Didn't anyone learn anything from the former USSR and China. China is still communistic, but it and Russia are running full gallop towards capitalism. MIlitary retirees and veterans are not the only people in the world that have reason not to trust our government.

  175. If no one believes what I am saying about our health care situation just take a look at the video ""Sick around the world". This video will really give you some sense of where the USA is at this time. "SICK AROUND THE WORLD" by KPBS.

  176. leverthcinetnet says:

    The best way to fight for these benefits is to VOTE for the Obama opposition in November.. Do it for the house and senate also.

  177. SFC INF RT says:

    I think we should vote on the benefits that Congress gets and see just how many run for office as we cut them. How many terms would they stay if there benefits are the same as a vets.

  178. I served a year in Viet Nam,came home, worked hard, saved my money, retired early, and last year Viet Nam bit me 45 years later–3 cancers related to Agent Orange–Some "friends" are jealous that I now draw disabilty from the VA–It chaps me that the majority of the "powers that be" and want to cut back on Military Benefits, never served a day in Service—It ain't welfare–we earned every damn dime of it–

    • chapelmarye says:

      Absolutely right ! Without veterans, there would be no "life" for any of us !

    • Janice Martin says:

      My husband served in Viet Nam of 3 different occasions and seriously injured and assumed killed during one of his times there. That is another story. I agree 100% with your comments. Can you tell me how you were able to obtain VA help for your Agent Orange cancer related issue. My husband has severe skin cancer all over his body and can't seem to get the VA to come across for him.

  179. What about welfare? they are not cutting it, we have millions of well body people, black and white on government assistance and not doing anything with thier lives but living off our tax dollars. If they produce jobs and give able body people limits to how long they can leech off the government, We would not have this problem. There are alot of other government program that need to be cut. But not Tricare for us Veterans. We deserve it. Because we did earn it. The government do owe us, without us there is no Freedom!

  180. I suggest that the blame be put where it belongs!! Congress has abdicated its' responsibilities in favor of partisanship politics. You don't like what's happening? Check your congressmen's, senators records. See where their interests lie..not with ordinary folks, for sure! Most of them are millionaires but like the public trough for the benefits, perks, etc. You want change? Do the above!

  181. The congress has overspent and the administration has OVER COMMITTED. We have trillions in debt and the government must find a way out. This is typical for what happens after war. A big reduction in the force structure, base closures, a very s l o w promotion system (usually a vacancy occurs only if someone retires from active duty or dies in the ranks. The Military better get ready for a peacetime military. It will SUCK big time. but you volunteered so either resign, retire, or finish your enlistment and get in the never ending unemployement line. My advice if you are contributing stay if not leave.

  182. before you start blaming the setting goverment you need to do your home work. you need to look at the RePUBLICAN congress (each one) and look at his or hers pet projects thay have passed and pushed through. just because the present goverment is in office doesen't mean it is his fault they are forced to lower the benefits on the lower class and the federal employes and hit their benifits and helth benifits that means the military retires.

    • Be real. Obama had 2 years of everything his way with a Democrat Congress and Senate. He has set the country on a path to destruction and personally I really could care less. I can't wait for the next terrorist attack…I hope it makes 9-11 look like a party. It is once again time for the tree of liberty to be refreshed by the blood of patriots. I don't mean overthrow the government, but rather we need a wake up call that is so horrific that the "politically correct" crowd will be forever silenced and we can identify and label evil as such.

    • Henry, Henry, Henry. I have done my home work buddy. And I have'nt found a republican yet that gave 400,000,000. tax payer dollar's to HAMAS, A very well known Terrorist group. But I did find a Demo-Rat that did just that, Maybe you know him, Barack H. Obama. The POTUS that has all but turned his back on one of our best and closest allies Israel. The one that welcomes illegalstrough our open borders with open arms, along with Eric Holder and Nancy Pelosi. The CIC that cant stand the US Military. and all his appointed puppet's. The Food Stamp President. with his thug union and commie George Soros, backer's. The man that spends tax payer's money like it was his and only his. 4,000,000.00 million dollars of our tax money on a vacation to Hawaii. Must be nice huh. See i've done my home work. Now maybe ya should do your's. Do a lil studdin up on those Demo-Rats and RINO's. Ya might just graduate.

    • If congress would take fare share of the cuts out of their retirement and health care and infrared salaries instead. They talk about people not paying their fair share but they are the worst offenders with inflated retirement for life and no cuts in there medical. They get 170,000 a year and up lifetime retirement even after only one term.

  183. Why is it that Congress who screws everything up and because of their screw-ups, we are forced to pay for it. I don't see Congress stepping up to the plate and offering to take any cuts in their health care or their full pay for life without donating to social security. Our elected officials are asking us to take the cuts, so they don't have too. Quit always blaming the Democrats, the Republicans are just as bad.

    • http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congre… explains that you are badly informed. Congressional members have the same retirement program as run of the mill federal employees. They do, since 1984, also pay into social security. Because a lot of them don't vest (5 years or more) the few hundred that are retired average $60k under the pre 1984 plan and less than $40k per year under the current retirement program. Get your facts right.

      • I wish my husband got $40,000-$60,000 for four years of service! He gets $14,400 a year for over 20 years of far more dangerous service than what they contribute! They don't even work all year! Much less 24/7 like the military. How FEW become vested? Most are at least two-term congressmen. When they "retire", after 8 years, with no scars or PTSD, THEN the BIG BUCKS start rolling in, as they do speaking engagements. I can't remember my husband ever being offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak before a group: come to think of it, he is a humble veteran who speaks very little about his service, or anything else for that matter.

        • CharlesBryant says:

          vicswife,

          LMAO, go to the link and read the darn thing, since you still have it wrong.

          And stop whining and crying about your husband, he didn't have his arm twisted and forced to join the Military and then forced to reenlist.

          http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/congressional-pe

          • Charles you are some piece of work. Ok time to let us all know what YOU have done in the military. Tell us what your job was. Enlighten us and tell us your trials and tribulations. I for one am very interested in your sacrifices and I am sure a few more than I am!

          • CharlesBryant says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "Ok time to let us all know what YOU have done in the military. Tell us what your job was. Enlighten us and tell us your trials and tribulations. I for one am very interested in your sacrifices and I am sure a few more than I am!"

            Hey, what in the chit does your questions have to do with this forum? Hello

          • Like I thought

        • Congress doesn't get $40K for 4 years -they get nothing for 4 years.

          Their average FERS of $40K works out to an average of 13.5 years service – which also means they don't collect, and are not eligible for healthcare, until age 62.

          Yes, they make more than your husband. As do many others. The only way to prevent that is to create a law (probably need a Constitutional Amendment) setting max pay anyone can get in the US to <insert what rank of the military is fair>. Maybe add in no speaking engagements for pay unless they serve in the military. Is that what you want? Sure doesn't sound like a Capitalist Democracy to me.

    • Steve, I am with you on this. My husband served 22 years in the US Arny retired 1996 and past away 2004 due to a illness related to his service. I am his widow and struggling to support our daughter and myself. I am so sick of our Congress. None of them like to give up anything except, taking from us. Republican Congress, it is time to take responsibility for your own screw ups. Everything President Obama has layed out, you knocked down just to see him fail, even if it would have benefit us "regular" folks. You don't even care wether we succed in life as long as you can get rid of Our President. I thought, by now this country would overlook the race one is. Me being German, I am embarrassed to see these things still happening . Work togethe,r for crying out loud so, we all can get back on our feet.

    • Bob Griffin says:

      Our Senate and House who voted for the spending more than we were bringing in are the culprits in this financial fiasco!

  184. My opinion will get a few stones thrown my way……REPEAL DUAL COMPENSATION, and divert that money to TRICARE. I believe that if someone is healthy enough for a normal military retirement, then the government is under no obligation to pay retirees 1000s of extra (VA disability) dollars every month JUST FOR GROWING OLD. If the disability is not combat related, no extra cash…..no exceptions.

    • I agree 100%. I personally know several retirees that get their full retirement plus another check from the VA (tax free of course – and some as high as $1800 a month) and they now have full-time jobs making even more money. I'm all about earning a good living but not at the tax-payers expense.

      • There will always be some one who games the system, but don't tag everyone because of one bad apple. I agree, if they are getting that much for disability and working full time there is something wrong with that picture and it puts a bad mark on us all.. knee jerk re-action helps no one.

        I am retried and considered 30% disabled, I exchange dollar for dollar for this, and yes my Disabilities has kept me from getting a good job, so the tax free money I am getting does not off set the $1000 I should be making with a second career , fortunately for me a Faith Based none- profit hired me in spite of my disabilities, yea I fill a slot that in commercial world would get three times the amount, however I get what they can pay and give me job to live a somewhat normal life.

        I get so tried of reading people jumping to conclusions no the facts, ALL THE FACTS and not just a few messed up cases.
        Geeee

    • I get a 10% Disability Payment and it gets deducted from my Retired Pay.If you are sent into Harms way and get Disabled,then you earned every Penny of it.As for the ones that get more,I hope they all earned it.

    • Maybe in FUTURE, but you can't unring the bell. A promise is a promise. We planned on this healthcare as part of our retirement. Now they are going to take it away? Private companies have reneged on pension benefits, leaving oldsters without promised healthcare. Does that make it right for the government to do it to us too? Tell CONGRESS to take some pay and benefit cuts. They have some of the best health care coverage in the world.

    • Mike,

      You would not say that if you were in receipt of that payment. I agree it's not fair to all with a percentage. Im one that is rated 90 percent for injuries during my last couple years. Im currently unable to hold down a full time job because of these injuries. I'm very happy to recieve what I get which is still not the same as a Soldier that that done 4 years and gets 90 percent. Your anger with compensation is not warranted in my eyes. What you are saying is just plain take away all money from folks that have a injury from their time in the service retired or not. Your anger would be better served on making it fair across the board instead of the have and have nots…..also fight with politicans about your benefits! I view it as if your are going to increase me then all things should be on the table, no sacred cow! You know very well that there is plenty of waste across the DoD and plenty of sacred cows because a piece of junk equiptment that is a total waste and does not work is coming from congressmans district. Let's stick together and not pick on already injured vets. Let's fight to make the system equal. Thank you for your service!

    • What extra compensation? Military retirees with less than a high disability rating fund their own disability payments by virtue of a dollar for dollar reduction of their earned retired pay.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Mike, are you in congress or what? We only take our retirement pay (well deserved) and even though there is some disability, we do not attempt to claim any, realizing that there are others who deserve it or need it more. Take McCain for instance, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that he collects it, even though he is so rich he does not need to take it. And all the while he stabs the rest of us in the back. You do sound as though you are running as McCains mate or Obamas and you might succeed from your opinions

    • Jackie French says:

      You are a moron . These men and women were promised these benefits when they joined the military. They have more than earned every one of these benefits. They have put their lives on the line for this country many times and had to leave their families behind. They have missed many birthdays and holidays with their families. While congress sits on their useless rears and gets the cadilac in benefits. Don't you dare say that our military don't need benefits until they are old enough to retire.

    • You have got to be kidding me MIKE. Without the people behind the lines the lines would not exist. Where do they get their supplies from, pay, hospital care when they come home and most important who is taking care of their loved ones. Your an idiot man, both sides are just as important as every military job. Each one helps one. Without the chow hall guy the generals aid could not get fed after everything is closed, unless he wants to eat off post. YOU GET THE IDEA, I HOPE MIKE. The real COMBAT Troop knows the importance of having services there when they need to wind down or the gate guard protecting their family and post. You are an idiot MIKE. EVERY SINGLE MILITARY PERSON SUPPORTS EACH OTHER. I could go on but I hope you get my point.

    • Here's a disability for you. YOU and your views. Just growing old? lmao. Not stones thrown your way but maybe boulders. Mike the fact somebody gets injured or killed doesn't negate the fact that others have sacrificed. 20 yrs is no cake walk. If you are in the line of fire then guess what, it may be you but for the grace of god it wasn't doesn't equate to your BS statement.

      • And let me say this about that. Service members whether disabled or not should receive what they've worked for, no less, no more. The point was taken that some service members (like civilians) do take advantage of the system and work it to the max. Let's leave in place those services designed for the disabled IF you don't need it. We could qualify for some relief, however, there are many who need it more than us. Hubby and I both had hearing loss from our service time, we suck it up and go on. Let's carry our fallen soldier to the head of the line.

        • IDMTmedic says:

          I do agree with your statement Donna and the reason being that you are right about certain percentages that take advantage of the disability options. I have 0% disabilities and refused to claim any that were basically hinted that I should take. Back injuries, which I had while in service and had surgery on 6 yrs after retirement from the military. Skin cancer which I had removed while in service. My retirement and benefits (entitlements) were enough. I agree that ANY vet with service related injuries should be afforded every option available for compensation. Way too many have the 10% because they can but who is to say what is and isn't worth that 10%? You are right that many more need it and should be at the head of the line.

    • I agree with you 100% the should cut there salary's retirement pay, Senate,Congress, The pres all other gov politiacans..

  185. R L Baker says:

    I really don't give a rats patuti, I signed several contracts with the governemnt, over the course of 22 years and a part of that contract was for future health care. Now that government wats to once again cut from the people that served. What was that part about "defending the Constitution against all ememies both foreign and DOMESTIC". Perhaps it is getting time to once again water the tree of liberty.

  186. We all know the real solution is to legalize euthanasia. Let people decide, based on their quality of life, whether to continue being being a burden to their society and family. The day euthanasia is legalized, I will be the first in line!

  187. To Franky or anyone that knows. Myself and a friend haven't been able to find the ObamaCare plan online. We have found bits and pieces of this but not the whole thing. My friend and her family are military people so, I wonder where we can locate this plan. I sure hope this not like Canada's lottery healthcare. Thank you ahead of time for posting the link. Donna

  188. This is illogical. The SecDef and DOD should be the very ones defending these programs-not cutting them. They seem to be the enemey from within! This despite being promised if one retires after 20 years one would receive free medical care for life. With broken promises like these, who can believe anything DOD or the SecDef puts out. It is laughable that DOD continue s to ask military retirees and active duty personnel to encourage young people to enlist and ask veterans to support ROTC and other pro-military programs. Then the same lying bureaucrats turn around and shaft us!
    Where are the demands for similiar cuts in other federal departments? Why are other federal departments and their respective Secretaries not proposing cuts of tens of thousands of federal employees within their respective departments and closures of hundreds of offices and respective facilities?
    Why is the SecDef and DOD the only burequcrat / political appointee and federal department proposing to gut their own personnel and close facilities within their respedctive departments?
    The phrase, "We shoot our own wounded" would appear to apply – not just within the VA but throughout DOD!!!

    • Yeah, just call it "Friendly Fire", right?

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      I'm beginning to believe that they would have preferred for us to die on the battle field, then they have to pay NOTHING. Of course, loved ones would have a hard time finding our remains at any National Cemetery. Such a disgrace, can't even count on the government getting that right.

  189. There is little doubt that the Obama Admistration is to blame. First he stated he would have his own CIVILIAN ARMY that would be larger than our military as he would start to transform the United States of America (check out his speaches 5 days before he took office and before). This president does not and never has supported the military. Voted against the surge in Iraq when in the Senate and against the surge in Afganastan as President. He just wanted our military out of those countries even without victory so he can have that money to spend. He does not and never has respected this country. He came into office to make it a socialized, marist country and he is doing a good job. So those of you, especially military active duty and retired vote for him and you will see your pay scale continue to go south. So don't blame it on the not controlled GOP congress. If you will check out things you will see when the GOP has the white house and congress the military pay goes up and the military build up starts. When the DEM's get in office our military loses its luster and are not top notch. We were promised health Care For Life back in the 50's so checked the record for how we have been treated.

    • P.S. Retirees can be the very best recruiting tools, or the very worst possible. To whom do they think young kids look when making the decision to enlist? Other veterans. When word gets around about these broken promises and shabby treatment, many will rethink their career decisions.

  190. I agree with the majority of the comments thus far. I proudly served this great country for over 20 years of dedicated service. It was my life and my family's life, and we knew the sacrifices we made were part of the decision I made to make it my career working to protect and defend the freedom we have. However, it seems to me, that as a young soldier a promise was made by the US Government that if I completed 20 years of service that certain lifelong privileges, to include medical care would be available. It seems that false promises were made, and that the veterans of military service, get less and less. When will this all stop.

    If politicians want to make budget cuts, they need to start at the top. Let them start making some sacrifices instead of taking it from those who have already done so.

  191. Old Soldier says:

    Enlisted in 1967. Retired in 1990. I kept my end of the agreement. I expect the Gov to keep it's end of the agreement that they had with me. Not what some derelict military hating Solcialist Dictator Wannabe says the rules are now. It's not an "entitlement". It's an earned benefit and a contract between me and the US Government. The sooner that Thug Slug and his Czars and leftest henchmen are "unelected" the better. Of course, none of them were ever elected or approved by Congress anyway, but they'll get their generous "benefits" for the rest of their lives. Can you say "Chicago Communists!" Can"t hardly wait til November 6th, 2012 and Jan 20th, 2013.
    God, Bless America again, Please!

  192. When are we veterans going to wake up. This so called "Commander-in-Chief has no appreciation of those who have served, and he lies every time he moves his lips

    • He DOES NOT DESERVE the title Commander in Chief! Has anyone else but me noticed that the Special Forces (SEALS) have become a PR tool for him? He sends them out on these dangerous rescue missions so he gets lots of positive press, and thinks this will help him get reelected. They are not his personal PR service, they are extremely brave men and women who go above and beyond what is expected of other servicemembers, and undertake very dangerous missions for our country, NOT to rescue Iranians from Somalian pirates, both of who HATE OUR GUTS, and will NEVER appreciate anything we do for them. This does not buiild good will. It just makes Obama look like a bigger fool than he already is.l

  193. When I joined the Corps in 1978 I revieved some very good advice from a senior gunnery sargent. His advice was " When it comes to the military keep your expectations low and they will always be met". As a result I never expected much from leadership, either military or civilian, and that is what I got. So all this stuff about cuts and rollback of benefits just doesn't mean much to me. Joining the military was the best decision I ever made and I don't regret a minute of it. It made me the man I am today and when I retired in 2005 I took what I was given and carried on. All the good people who are responding on this site raise some good points but I think that they are missing the point. When we entered the military we placed our faith in politicians and career officers. Is there any group on earth that is more self-interested and corrupt? I don't think so. Folks really, this is more than likely a done deal and it is better to get on with life than waste any time on trying to figure out what the pols and generals are planning.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Really agree that this is a waste of time when we could be organizing a march to Washington to place our voices where we can really be seen and heard. In the meanwhile, until everyone gets up off their dying feet and really helps to get something done instead of just gripping … This is fun

  194. robbyrock says:

    Every time a service member got to a point to either leave the service or reenlist to stay in, a retention briefing was given. Every retention briefing contained the promise of free health care at the time of retirement. The amount of reimbursement to doctors is a breech of contract with every military retiree, and a blatant insult.

    The cuts is a result of reckless domestic federal spending for the purpose of permanently guaranteeing votes from certain multiple segments of the American population. The domestic spending has NOT been for a safety net .

    Politicians do not appreciate the service of military member and veterans, and it is inexcusably despicable.

    This is not whining. Military members and Veterans have done things no one else in this country would do, except for those who wanted to serve, but were disqualified. How did we become a country who disrespects, no, despises those of us who were willing to wear the uniform and protect our country, and be willing to do it with relatively low incomes. Now they take promised benefits away, and so many people don't care because of generational welfare and absurd grants and other pork. And please, do not attempt to turn that into a comment on race. People of all races and ethnic groups would rather rely on welfare than work for a living. And millions of people want to get their slice of the federal pie without contributing.

    What a sad country this has become.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      So perfectly stated, thank you

    • Yes very well stated!!!

    • I agree that medical care was always a promise of making a career of military service, however, if the country is going to support those kinds of promises, it must be willing to pay for them. Republicans have gone on record that they want to replace medicare with a voucher system that will give retirees a fraction of the money they need to pay for over priced and limited coverage. The really wealthy who benefit from the security that this nation provides to the world, something we all gave our sweat and blood for, are being protected from paying the bill they owe to the nation. We cannot continue to lower taxes, borrow from foreign countries to fight purposeless wars and not expect to ever have to pay for it. Trillions of dollars for a war that did not advance the national interests, and a huge debt for prescription drugs that were not paid for are crippling our fiscal health. We need to start balancing the budget., and that includes increased revenue.

      Further, I have to take exception to your comment that this nation despises those of us who were willing to wear the uniform and serve our country. It just is not so and you know it. All of your arguments suffer from such a hyperbolic and ridiculous claim.

      No one in congress complained about waste when the baby boomers were bringing in tons of taxes, but now that these people are ready to start drawing on some of the benefits they paid for and enjoy retirement, people are claiming they didn't contribute to the fund. Welfare has been reformed under Gingrich and Clinton to make it much more difficult for abuses. When the president tackled health care reform with ideas the Republicans had advocated for years, they vilified him and turned it into a political game. This is serious and until the Republican Party gets over itself and wants to serve the American people, we will all suffer from the mess. We should advocate to vote every member out of congress who is loyal to a political party before their country and who votes against getting our national debt under control.

      • robbyrock says:

        You made not one point on the issue, except one. We can have these wars without expecting to pay for them. Paying for them means caring for veterans. But we can't because of the radical and reckless domestic spending SINCE FDR you IDIOT. Welfare reformed? That was 18 years ago. And you know damn well, there has been more domestic spending in the first 3 years of Obama than the 8 years of Bush. None of your BS makes any damn sense. Republican advocated the health care Obama gave us??? YOU'RE NUTS!! I can't make heads or tails of your comments. And yes, there are millions of people in this country that have been taught to hate the military and it's members. That is not hyperbole. My God what planet do you live on.

      • David Whitmore says:

        You were so much fun to respond to, I have to split my comments into multiple segments.

        Part ONE
        It was during Pres Clinton's 1st term when somebody (Hillary, I think) proposed universal one-payer health care, and a bean-counter (I'm guessing now) in the DoD thought up this TriCare crap; and so we got the privilege of paying for our own, and our families, healthcare. We complied; complaining having had its usual effect… None! After all, the free medical care wasn't written down in a current regulation, and signed in triplicate by God. It had only been a tradition.
        The military used to take care of its own. That is, until Congress, and Mrs. President, said they weren't allowed to anymore. The military had to turn over healthcare to an insurance company. Supposedly, medical care would change one little bit.

        Yep! Guaranteed!

        Surprised me not iota when it wasn't. This was Washington, D.C., remember?

        • David Whitmore says:

          Part TWO
          Think a little, about those 'wealthy' you dispise (and envy), weren't some of them also in the military? Regarding your 'increased revenue' idea: Bull Hockey! Sorry… Irrational thinking on your part. Those people, the 'wealthy' and/or their families busted their butts, or brains, earning that money. What right do you have to claim some of it? In a lot of countries, you and I are considered ridiculously wealthy; do they have a right to share in your largess? I pulled mself out of the equation because I don't want to give them any of my money.
          This nationwide healthcare law that got rammed through Congress… I say rammed through; because it arrived as a "Sign this, get it passed; then we will allow you to read it" deal. When it first showed up, it was 1200+ pages, which grew to almost 2000 pages by the time the Democratic Party passed it to the President to sign. The signed law came back as 2600+ pages. I'm sure it was a spacing issue because our President would never consider adding 600, or so, pages of stuff into such a momentous document. Would he?

        • David Whitmore says:

          Part THREE
          One little question, why are Congressional members, working and retired, and their staff exempt from coverage under this law?
          The best twist in this healthcare law is that the rest of the country, except for Congress, will now be entitled to receive the same high quality medical care that the military does under TriCare.

          I do agree with you regarding anyone serving in Congress that does not have the country, and specifically, the people that elected them into office, as their first priority; they should be fired or voted out of office. Immediately.

          • They're NOT exempt under the law. They, like all the Civil Servants in the government, are under FERS, which, under the Affordable Healthcare Act, is subject to the same requirements.

          • CharlesBryant says:

            retiree,

            Right, not exempt anymore than anyone else.

        • David Whitmore says:

          Part FOUR
          I noticed, too, that you are so bravely posted this anonomously.
          Grow a pair!

          Finally (and then I'll let you alone), unless you were in the rooms when, and where, any information was disclosed regarding who, what, where, and when; and then assisting in the decision-making process; and then taking the responsibility for said decision; YOU do not have the right to say going to war was wrong, or even just a bad idea. I realize you are a Democratic party member, but only the President has the right to make such a decision; and remember, he had the congress' approval to go forward with it. And Congress had the same information he did with which to base their decision.
          Hindsight is only 20-20 if you are willing to look at all sides of a situation, not just one or two.

          Have a great day.

        • Actually, President Nixon (Republican) proposed reforms similar to the Affordable Health Care Act.
          http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/Sept

    • Karl B mohr says:

      You are correct. It seems a shame that we can spend a Trillion dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq and can not take care of veterans from that war and other wars. The defense secretary and all the civillian congressmen will have good heath care at taxpayers expense. I served for 21 years and went to two of george bush"s war fro oil. Now it seems that the goverment broke its promise again to spend money on social problems and health care for thousands of illegal aliens. liberals get out of the way and go hug a tree. I did not see any of your sons or daughters in Iraq. Winston Churchill once said "you have enemies , good that means you stood up for somthing you belive in".

      • CharlesBryant says:

        Karl B mohr,

        What oil????? Here is the reason we went into Iraq: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/r

        Here is the reason we went into Afghanistan. "The primary driver of the invasion was the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base."

        • How about you speak from your gut? As a Vet? I'm not too sure you sacrificed anything from what I am hearing. No lost family members, no lost friends, no scenes of death. Just the facts. Got it. Here's a soft pillow, a mask, and a loud as# opinion. Ohh and alot of links. 223?

          • CharlesBryant says:

            IDMTmedic,

            "How about you speak from your gut?"

            I am speaking from the gut, and giving links to why I feel that way.

            "As a Vet?"

            I am a Vet, but being a Veteran or not isn't a prerequisite for posting on this site.

            "I'm not too sure you sacrificed anything from what I am hearing."

            Like I need to prove I've sacrificed one way or another to post here! As to what your hearing, I doubt you've heard anything, in that all your doing is attempting to taunt me into posting personel info that can be found in my profile on this site.

            "No lost family members, no lost friends, no scenes of death."

            None of this info is necessary in order to post my views here.

            "Just the facts. Got it. Here's a soft pillow, a mask, and a loud as# opinion. Ohh and alot of links. 223?"

            LMAO, everything I want you to know is in my BIO. At least I'm not hiding who I am by using a surname or nickname.

          • Ok checking out your profile now. By the way very happy your following me now and it's because of you two morons I am now getting much more active in veterans issues to keep you two tards from lobbying for OUR benefits! Two farts into the wind as far as I am concerned.

          • AND your profile says nothing worth mentioning outside of a grainy as# photo from a halloween party as far as I am concerned.

    • What an easy way to absorb the boggie in defense spending…increase tricare…pass it on to the retired ranks and cut amount doctors receive by 27 percent. Wow! Great fix. You kidding me! My response to the mess the politicians got us into is to beat them at their own game and go on the offensive. This is warfare as I see it and Washington is the emeny. Hell, it's what we for a living. Lets give them a new problem of how to figure out how to respond when we all flood the VA by the tens of thousands since most of us qualifying for VA care. Let's let them sort out that mess while we think of our next resonse to let them know, we may be retired but we still know how to fight!

    • Robert D. Mowrey says:

      I have had varying nationalities under my command as a SSgt. None of them will harp me down. Every one will bicker at the attitude Congress has towards the military. They (Congress) forget that if it wasn't for the military they would not be in business much less dead.

    • James Isom says:

      Well said. The current administration's health care program is in actuality making health care increasingly unavailable for retirees both military and civilian. My wife and I are seeing a disturbing trend in medicare and TRICARE providers. Because of government cuts an increasing number doctors and medical care facilities are refusing to accept medicare and TRICARE. As a retiree I have to travel over 180 miles to be able to use a TRICARE provider. With additional BRAC cuts looming I may have to travel outside New Mexico to have a TRICARE provider. Additionally, my and my wife's mothers (both in their late 70's) are having more and more trouble finding medicare providers as a result of government cuts to medicare.

      All indicators point to the collapse of our health care system for the aging if changes are not made in the near future. It's not like our political leaders haven't been advised about the growing burden on the public health care system because of the increasing population growth of our aging population. It's clear they simply choose not to address the issue to preserve their political career.

  195. SFC.ANDERSON RET. says:

    LETS DO AWAY WITH THE ARMY ALL TOGETHER AND THAT WILL SOLVE ALL THE MONEY PROBLEMS OF OUR COUNTRY, HOWEVER THEN YOU WILL LET ALL THE COUNTRIES THAT LOVE US SO MUCH COME IN AND TAKE OUR COUNTRY OVER, BUT IM SURE ALL THE POLITICIANS THAT WANT TO CUT ALL THE "INTTIELMENTS" WILL DO JUST FINE IN THAT SITUATION.

  196. So in the 25 years since my husband retired, our health care has gone from "You will have free health care for yourself and your family for the rest of your lives: thank you for giving your youth to the Air Force" to "Sorry sucker, you are going to pay more and have less access to medical care, while we pay less: but thanks again for your years of service and sacrifice". I understand the need to make cuts to bring the National Debt down, but I don't think this program should be balanced on the backs of people like us, retired military, nearing full retirement age which means increasing health problems, but not old enough for Medicare, and only working part time due to our ages. We have no other insurance available to us. What will happen to TriCare for Life??? I suppose we are supposed to pay for that just like paying for Medicare:@ $106/month (when he hits 65) from a total SS benefit of $1036. My husband's military pension is $1200 a month, due to his rank and the date he retired. How much of that are we supposed to pay? What are we supposed to eat? Congress needs to take some cuts in their pay and medical benefits.

  197. Now that we've left Iraq and are preparing to leave Afghanistan, the importance of the military in the eyes of the government is again diminishing as it always does at the end of any armed conflict or war. Beware veterans, now that you are no longer needed, your government is preparing to hang you out to dry. It always does that.

  198. yes the peacetime military. Kipling wrote a poem called "Tommy". It describes this mess perfectly. If you can find a copy of it read it and you will see nothing changes.

  199. I agree with most, however we do have a way for our voices to be heard, VOTE, if they have a job now vote everyone of them out. not a one of them care about this country, not one, the only thing they care about is $$.

  200. VERY well stated! Thank you for telling it like it is! The military are the first ones called upon when we are attacked or threatened, but when they become veterans, they are throw-aways. Like I said in another post, "Thanks, sucker, for your years of service!" My husband says they won't be able to find people willing to enlist OR reenlist if you take away any and ALL incentives. Risking your life every day for 20-30 years is only worth it if you think you will have something waiting at the end, like a pension and medical care for your self and your family. Being in the military is NOT like a civilian job, but having a president and his cronies who have never served and don't have a clue what the military is about guarantees that they think of it in the same terms as any other job. My husband says they used to tell them, we OWN you 24/7: we just let you have time off to eat and sleep. You are subject to being called up and put behind a weapon at any minute. Civilians have NO CLUE what this means, or what a military wife goes through during long separations, praying that her husband will return, and preferably in ONE PIECE! Civilians don't have to go through that either.

  201. This is why you do not ever vote for someone who has never served in the US Military.

    • Ok that leaves about 99.9% not running for office

    • Like Sen. Levin (Dem.-Michigan), head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who has let his own state's disabled vets standing sink to 53rd out of 53.. Yes, Carl has really worked at sticking it to his state's vets.

    • Donna Van Dyck says:

      Welcome to the land of OZ …that is the land of broken promises and dreams of care and a decent life after retirement from the military. You didn''t have a decent life during your 20 years of thankless service, what from all the gunfire, trying to stay alive whether on ship, air or ground. What the heck should we expect from those in office who sit safe and sound in their lofty offices paid for by our blood and sweat equity. And at the foreground at all of this, OUR BUDDY McCain…who should know better, but has enough money not to care or remember

      • Maybe make a post to "retiree or charles" about this. They are the gateway to facts and benefits that the gov. never promised or are legally bound to.

    • Jackie French says:

      Amen to that Ted. I have been saying that for years. All these millionaires up their in Washington don't have a clue what the rest of us are going through. They don't even live in the real world they all live in fantasy land with all their other rich friends. I bet you that none of them have ever struggled to pay their bills or put food on their tables. They have no idea what military families go through. I am a military widow and my husband put in twenty years in the Air Force and I am sick and tired of these idiots trying to take away our benefit that you all where promised when you joined.Congress and Senate only has to serve one term and they get full benefits for life. This is wrong.

  202. My husband, father, and brother all served 20+ years in the Air Force. They all enlisted for various reasons (does it really matter why). All served in combat zones, and all were prepared to give their lives at any given time. They, like all other retirees ARE ENTITLED to their promised benefits! At every enlistment and reenlistment, they signed a legally binding contract in exchange for their pay and benefits. If they had broken that contract, and say, went AWOL, they would have been thrown in jail!! Now, it's acceptable for the government to renig on their end of the contract??? Make changes to the benefits for new enlistees, but leave current retirees AND the promises made to them ALONE!!

  203. Harold Johnson says:

    Why is just the military hit for these big budget cuts – WHAT ABOUT CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES?? A small cut in their benefits would contribute to the greatest budget reductions. I have never heard any mention of this group whatsoever. Come on – lets get everyone involved in this reduction program.

    Harold

  204. The military giveth and the military taketh away!!!

    • Karen, I dont think it's a case of the Military gives or takes anything away. It's more a case of elected official's taking, No matter what the Military is giving. I gave 23 years of my life for this great country. Which by the way i'd do all over again. And I lived by that Oath that I swore to. The one about supporting the Constitution of the United States, And I live by it oday. But then i'm not a politician, That swore to the same oath, yet decide's that they dont have to obey it. But then they are all talk and no action. I remember when it used to be for the people in this country. But that has long sense changed to, The Hell with the people. So instead of blamming the Military. Let's put the blame where it really belong's. On our not so trustworthy CIC, Senate and Congress. To me that would seam like a more logical target.

    • I wrote my senators and ask they refrain from weeping , wringing their hands and phoney applause during Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor ceremonies. They do all this and then rip us off.

  205. Ed Murphy says:

    The only vote is " NObama "!!!!!!

    No More Obama !

  206. As a Vietnam Vet I didn't expect much out of laying my life on the line but felt a duty to serve my country. I was happy to receive some education and medical benefits that really helped down the road when corporate benefits started costing so much and going south. To me the veterans are an example of the kind of people we need in this country to keep it strong and set an example for others. They certainly have worked for and deserve these entitlements over those that produce nothing in this country and live off government handouts. That is where a big part of the budget goes with no accountability and produces nothing. I think the real focus should be to get rid of the waste and fraud and transform those programs in a way that gets people off the dole and compels them to be productive in society. Too bad our elected officials have failed us in so many ways. Sometimes I think it is better that they do nothing rather than make situations worse down the road.

  207. Congress is under the Federal Employee Health Plan (FEHB) and they pay a premium every pay period and they also pay co-pays and have a deductible to pay.

  208. The only vote is to vote against all those voting to increase our tricare payments while decreasing payments to doctors. Soon good doctors won't be able to afford to treat us, while congress gets the cream of the crop. We need to tell congress no to cuts in tricare.

    • Yep, voting is ONE WAY, however by the time the voting is over, it will be too late for our hard-earned benefits. It will be a DONE DEAL!! We need to meet them face to face in Washington to drive our point home…only then will they vote to preserve the healthcare we need to keep. Its already been eroded too much now. Sometimes it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask for permission…anyone out there remember this philosophy??????? How about..wait for it…WE'RE GONNA TAKE THAT HILL. how quick we forget.

  209. distancethunder says:

    Hi

  210. Cynthia A. Knowles says:

    Tricare should not even be in the equation of cutting costs. If you are service related disabled and medically retired this is only fair that you have these services provided. The congress should take the hit and cuts in their pay and medical, and retirement!! Whats wrong with these morons? Who votes for these people?

    • CYNTHIA!!!! Everyone who Retired from service to their country should be able to keep their Tri Care benefits, not just the disabled or medically retired. We ALL earned it.

  211. Another blade in our back a long way from " free medical care for the rest of your life promise " in the 1960's. How many non military politicians run to Walter Reed at the first sign of a cold ???

    • So true. Now don't get me wrong here, but do you think if any of us had gotten shot in the head as Gabby did, we would have gotten the medical help she did. DONT THINK SO. However if, American GI's or Veterans had been there, I doubt they would have gotten the same standard of care. Look at the Wounded Soldiers program, why is that? Is it because the government is not giving them the help they need? I love the fact though that Veterans are helping Veterans!! It just points up to the fact that the government is turning their backs on the very peoples who are fighting, and HAVE fought for our country with their blood, sweat and tears. SHAMEFUL to the point of being disgraceful.

  212. Excuse me! Fellow Patriots! Before you go off on the deep end thinking you served your country and do not expect any benefits for your service, think again. While these male/female wimps who never served their country in any capacity, went to college got degrees and landed themselves well paid jobs, and made millions, we who served well in uniform did all for the sake of nickels and dimes? While all others prospered while we slept in the mud,ate cold meals, and forfeted our freedoms, for the glory of "I served my Country" eggo?
    The Government promissed entitelments. I for one do not want to be treated as the American Indians have…..They had been lied and cheated, with lands stolen beneah thier feet. Never give up what you worked for, what you have been promissed. For our lives and what we have done in the past two hundred years are far more important than any Bank President, Corp. President, or any civilian who has never served in the Armed Forces! Without our sacrifices they would not have been able to achieve thier wealth under our enemies rule!

  213. Donna Van Dyck says:

    Disagree with you about changing the contract for new enlistees, that is bull and governmental thinking. If you serve your country in the military and then retire, Or you are wounded, your country should stand behind you in making sure you get everything you've sacrificed your safety and hard work for. We cannot divide and conquer here

  214. Its just like they always do. Lets Always look athe Military and cut them everyway that we can. They never talk about them taking a cut on anything.. I think they should be the one taking an cut for once.. Let them not get a pay raise for a few years and take their med away also and no retirement when they leave office the would make a big diff. I do not know of anywhere you can service 4 years and get pay for the rest of you life for that time.

  215. I guess serving our country doesn't mean that much any more. Hey let's honor our veterans by reducing their healthcare.

  216. Currently, many of the Doctors in our area (Colorado Springs, Colorado) are no longer accepting any new TriCare or Medicare patients as well as any with CHAMP VA! This is horrible considering the huge Military, Retiree, and just Retired over 65 people living here! I doubt this is happening just here either. What it means is any "Government Paid" Health insurance program has made their reimbursement rates for health care so low that many providers are refusing to accept such low rates in lieu of taking on just Private Health Care Insurance patients or Private Pay patients. For the over 65 group in particular, their may be no option but an ER for care (THE MOST EXPENSIVE route to receive care through I might add). In the end, this will cost Medicare and TriCare more. So, how much did they really save?
    Also, I doubt any of our Congressional Representatives are being insured by a Health Care Plan that is so "substandard" that they have Doctors refusing to take patients with it, and when they retire, will they end up with Medicare? NO!
    I think every politician should be subjected to the same "health care program" they have given the military, their dependents, and retired people! Then perhaps, the cuts would stop, and they would pay at least as well as Private Healthcare is paying for their patients to receive care.

  217. ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS SIMPLIFIED:
    welfare recipients (longer than 3 months)
    Present long term unemployment checks
    Foreign Aid (let's take care of our own country first)
    Special health Care for our elite congressional members
    MILITARY RETIREMENT AND HEALTHCARE IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT, IT HAS BEEN EARNED …. got that congress and mr bo?

  218. I'm glad I live in Japan!

  219. Billie Skains says:

    I am tired of quote "Entitlements". I paid for Medicare and Social Security all my life and I retired from the USAF after 20 plus years, spending approximately 14 years overseas. NOW my government is saying that they will take away some of my ":ENTITLEMENTS". Before taking away from retirees, our government should STOP giving money to foreign governments that winds in some offricial pocket. Keep our tax money in the the United States and our debt and over spending will look a whale of lot better.

  220. I'm retired, but not from the service. I did serve (Army) in Viet Nam. I'm using regular Medicare. I believe that every vet deserves no less than what he was promised when he entered the service. I also believe that the "system" should be changed so that those Vets who retired at higher rank should pay more for their healthcare – a graduated or means-tested payment scale, in other words. Certainly that would be better than reducing benefit payments to the point where no doctors will accept Vet patients.

  221. I agree that a tiered system for Tricare fees is reasonable if it helps to maintain the level of care we are currently receiving. However, it should not be based solely on rank. It should also take into account the amount of monthly retirement pay a person is receiving. There are senior officers and NCO's in the reserve whose retirement checks do not equal that of someone who retires after 20 years of active duty at 50%. A reservist with no active duty years who retires after 20 years is going to receive a retirement in the 10-12% range.

  222. I'm still wanting to find out why congress and senate are allowing the "free medical" for life that I along with thousands of other vets were promised have allowed this? I for one can honostly say that when I had10 years in and had just married saw this as one of the main reasons to stay in the service and retire instead of getting out at that time.

    • Yes, I also was promised care for life! Of course, what the government promises, the government can take away!

    • SDunkley, the only way you will find out this answer to to GO to Washington, and let them look into your eyes while they lie to your face

  223. Congress shall not impose upon the people anything that they would not impose upon themselves. Lets see some cuts in their pay checks and health care and retirements. Put them on Tricare and social security or a retirement based on rank and number of years served. Better yet, let their pay be based on their performance. I served 21 years and I don't want any ENTITLEMENTS. Just what I was promised and what I earned.

  224. PAUL RACHAL says:

    THEY JUST CAN'T LEAVE US VETS ALONE CAN THEY

  225. "Mr President, what do you mean CHARGE! The soldiers all quit the volunteer Army when they heard about TriCare! And there is mutiny among the retirees. Did you learn how to fire a gun in Kenya?"

    • Sad, there is no cure for Rectacranial inversion. I will try anyway, Kenya is not Hawaii. Hawaii is a state of our union. Kenya is in Aftrica. Got it?

      • Oh we got it alright and we don't want it! Check your facts and check out the decor at the White House………..No American Flags.

  226. The military has been all volunteer since the mid-70s and remains so today. I retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years of service. To me, the first place to start reducing benefits, is with the GI bill. Todays volunteers receive full payment AND BAH. WHAT? WHY? Transfer those benefits to their sposes/children! What has todays Military done that I didn’t do? As far as TRICARE goes, it a pitiful benefit today. I can’t even think of a word for what it will be once it reduces reimbursement by 27 more percent.

  227. Teresa Nesbitt says:

    Al.l service members active and retired and veterans deserve to have medical care mostly paid by the government. we would not have the freedom we have without them .A s a wife of a retired veteran I know what it has done to families
    in the service and retired and what it cost . They all deserve better.

  228. I am hearing talk of tear rates and means testing as proposals to "save" TriCare. To some it may sound like the "fair thing to do" but it is just another tax. And in this case a tax on something that we have already paid for with our service. We all know about taxes, taxes never go away and taxes just keep expanding. What's next, pricing at the PX and commissary based on your pay grade? Maybe Walmart might adopt tear and means testing pricing, too.

    I don't care if TriCare rates for a general is the same as a pfc. Each member recieves the same care. Well, other than that private room for the general; but we all know rank does come with some privleges. Hold on, I know that there is always that story about someone somewhere that didn't get the care they needed or felt they deserved. For that guy, we all need to stand up and write our Congress, and not let Congress redistrabute our benefits down to the lowest common demomenator.

  229. If Congress implements cuts in payments to doctors by 27% and starts tear and means testing our TriCare will go the way of the health care in the private sector; higher rates and less care. Heck, TriCare is already operating under an exemption from Obama care. How long do ya think it will be before Congress say, you military guys can use Obama care and screw the VA.

  230. val staples says:

    anyone who is in the political arena in this country is a volunteer. They should be subject to the same treatment as our military. They need to give up their pay and and benefits to help support the people who take care of usa and them. They just don't get it and do not want to. Without our armed forces where would we be. I have afeeling we are going to find out.

  231. Another of many unkept promises from our government to our veterans. It is ironic that politicians who purport to care for Soldiers and their families only make these proposals when we are returning the troops from Iraq/Afghanistan and our usefulness to them has ended. It is quite clear that we fulfill our contracts and they are not required to do so. You know what they say about a politician's promise……it is good until they are in office.

  232. Once again the people that sacrifice to protect the US get screwed, Why should anyone make a career in the military? While Congress gets the best health care in the world the people in the trenches get screwed. When has Washington ever kept it's word to Vets? We were promised health care for life, yet that doesn't happen how many civilians fight wars? Every time a cut has to be made it on the back of the military members and elected officials get a free ride for life! If Washington cuts the military benefits then they need to cut their benefits to match! I wish the American public would honestly research the benefits of elected officials.

    • Joe Coastie says:

      If I had to do it all over again, I might think twice about it. While many were huddled around the fireplace during the holidays, I was out enforcing drug interdiction on the high seas, while others were celebrating birthdays with family and friends, I was out pulling bodies out of the ocean. Unfortnately my commitment to my country did not stop when the congressional session was over, and or the annual holiday break begins. I don't regret anything I did and would not want to change-it, by please don't lie and promise anything to anyone anymore, because your type of personality (Politician) will only break the heart of the next sailor, soldier, or flyboy who puts there life on hold or
      goes into harms way only to have his benefits erroded away so you can be re-elected for free health care for life.

  233. I will match everyone in Congress on a percentage basis. If you make more, pay more. I drive a '97 Pickup. Want to trade? Viet Nam Vet with 22 proud yeras.

    Roy
    Clifton, VA

  234. Study your history folks. Google "Bonus Army 1932". That day is coming again.

  235. usn retired says:

    I find it interesting that people who don't work, don't want to work or are labelled with some kind of made up "disability" get all the free care they can use but as a military retiree and (oh by the way) I work in an emergency room, I have to sweat it out everytime I need something more than a routine exam. You would be amazed at how many of these people getting free care from the state and federal goverment come walking in with brand new Air Jordans, IPAD and IPhones driving brand new cars.

    Get a grip congress,,,if you REALLY want to do something about the budget then set up a commission to evaluate these people on the dole and disenroll the ones that don't really NEED it.
    The social system wants more people on the program because it's their job security to put as many people on as possible. There is no incentive for them to say no. The fox is guarding the henhouse.

    • Bob Griffin says:

      WE are ALL going to have to tighten our belts. I served 41/2 years in a destroyer, including a 6 mo. extension for the Berlin Wall. A story in itself. Got out in '62 with no GI bill (it started again in '67.) I worked as a printer for 45 years and pay around $1000 a month for health care. The country is broke! We cannot afford all the benefits that the services promised. Get use to it.

    • Most people who are on social security now receive it because they have paid into the program for most if not all of their working lives. Just like you and I. Of course there are many Americans who pay in and die before ever receiving any. You seem to be content to broad brush stereotype while you conduct your survey on incoming patients shoes, cars, and personal accessories.

  236. Edward Garcia says:

    As I see it today! The US of A, and I mean the United states of America is in a sinking hole. No better than some third world country when it comes to health care for military retirees. Thanks to those who make and implement the laws! When a family of, lets say four or five have to make sacrifices to put food on the table and buy only the necessities to make ends meet. they start at the very top. Yes the parents! That their children a descent life. So, Congress! do what is right. You need to start at the top. And I mean you……………….. you need to cut on your retirements funds and health care benefits. America, I am sure is well aware of whats go on up there in DC. America is ashamed of you.

  237. Treva E. Raby says:

    As the widow of a career military officer, who was also a prisoner of war in Korea for two and one half years, I find it disgraceful that congress continues to try to reduce our benefits each time they find themselves in a budget crunch. Perhaps their retirement benefits should be reduced, and their annual salary raise ended. Do they pay premiums for the health benefits they enjoy? I seriously doubt it.

  238. The only real voice we have in all this, is to correspond with our respective congressman or congresswoman and bend their ear really hard regarding these cuts to the military/veterans benefits that we've certainly earned. I would like someone explain to me why the military is usually the scape goat in the missdeeds of so many in congress. It's no wonder their approval rate is so bad!

    Proud (Retired Navy) Vietnam Veteran

  239. So many whinners…pay attention at your local communities and get involved…election year is upon us…VOTE

  240. Ok, how many of you got out and supported the candidate of your choice. Yep, you voted, what else did you do? Did you volunteer or do anything that gave your efforts to help improve the situation? Yes voting is most important, but it's like this …WE NOW HAVE TO DO MORE. We have to fight this issue with our greatest efforts by getting involved in the process of changing the mind sets of Washington. We have to speak loudly by getting out, showing our faces in Washington and letting them know THAT WE ARE MAD AND WE AREN'T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE. this is what it will take people, not just complaining. It's come down to this to fight for what is right! When we were in service, we were so used to following orders, right or wrong, but guess what? We no longer have to sit back and leave our fate in the hands of WASHINGTON, we can now fight back. GET USED TO THIS FACT, AND FIGHT BACK!

  241. We fought for our Country, Now fight for our healthcare!

  242. Dotted all your "I"s and crossed all your "T"s with that one Bill. Great one, wish I had thought of that. Think I will get on the bandwagon. Thank you!

  243. It is mazing that th very people that will vote against our Healthcare will have the best care for free for the rest of their lives even though they may have served only one term. They should reverse the tables and see if they would do that to themselves. Perhaps Obama and his croud should stop their lavish vacations and apply that money towards those that have protect ed this Country.

    • Perhaps you comments would have more impact if you sent them to the people who are trying to cut or deny OUR healthcare in both the house and senate, and not the President who has done more for our active duty military & veterans in the last 3 years then the previous president did in 8.

  244. Barry Ford says:

    TAKE ACTION!! Regardless of what is being proposed by committees in or congress, the only affective way to get the attention of your representatives (Senate and House) is to communicate with then directly. Using email is very effective. When you hear of a proposed bill or actions to take away your benefits send an email to your representative(s) and state your position on the proposed legislation. They or their staff do read your comments. You may even get a response back letting you know their position on the issue of concern. If the response, or lack of, is not to your liking resend your email again and again and again!!!

  245. harold kane says:

    pease time solder ant' worth s—– its time to unite and take this country back. VOTE every last one bar none OUT. cut there bennys see how fast they bail out. i have other words for them ,but this is the clean verson

    • You CAN'T vote them out. Many are protected in their districts. They have constituents who have big $ who will protect them. You need to find out what each rep advocates and vote for the one who best represents you.

  246. Back in the sixxities when the draft was still on, we where called to served our counrty. We did and came home to no welcome at all. There was no veterean
    representive there to tell us that we had benefits if we qualified. All Korean And Vietnam vetereans had to find out the hard way. Our Congressman and Senators needs to know we still want what we deserved, Please don't take our priviledges away. We honestly earned them . Keep our health care.

  247. medicman615 says:

    Those who made more money, whether in small or large margin beyond that of service members, throughout the prolonged boom that followed the latest lingering bust, are the first to claim it is the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, and the veterans from each of those branches, who must bear the brunt of the cost of one of the most severe and prolonged recessions in the history of the United States. This ploy is not new, but rather only dusted off by liberals who gave more than a trillion dollars of taxpayer monies to the very criminals who derailed our economy with get-rich schemes thinly veiled in laws passed by congressmen long bought by those who stood to gain no matter which way the economic winds blew. Many hundreds of billions of dollars have been reported to have been loosed without even as much as an accounting of where it went or stipulations delineating how the funds were to be spent. We've all heard of the millions of dollars of extra bonuses officials from the same companies who participated in the ravage of our financial systems received directly from taxpayer monies loosed by a lame-duck liberal congress and a newly-elected liberal president.

    I've heard many calling for us to contact our "representatives" in in the misguided hope of righting some of these wrongs. How ridiculous I find such advice! Would you plead with the those complicit with and/or responsible for this entire debacle for relief?!?! I don't know about the rest of you, but I have lost whatever romantic notions I once held regarding the ability or even the inclination of career politicians to look out for our welfare in the slightest. The rich, who have bought career politicians as cheaply as was humanly possible, continue getting richer on the backs of those who continue to get poorer. One of the most downtrodden of the latter of the aforementioned groups is the American service member, who has in many cases given the full true measure of sacrifice for our nation, who will now be asked to pay for an entire system we have defended, many of us our entire productive lives, with the forfeiture of the benefits we were promised time and time again.

    I often wonder where the tipping point will come, when the poor will no longer put up with the injustice heaped upon them by those who are rich. I don't know when that tipping point will come, but I know which side I'll choose with whom to stand and even fight when that day comes.

    • marlinman says:

      I say vote ALL the emcumbants out! Change the crooks

    • And let me say this about that. Service members whether disabled or not should receive what they've been promised and fought for American freedoms with their blood, sweat and tears. There are those who bare the disabilities visibly upon their bodies, or the not so visible wounds carried within. And yes there are then the service members who plunder the system whether disability is needed or not (just as in the civilian world, sadly to say) My husband and I both have hearing loss, yes we could use this system. We do not, we suck it up and go on, why? There are others who need it more. Let's all leave the disability system alone unless it is needed. Let's carry the wounded soldier to the front of the line and stand in front of them when the bullets fly.

  248. How many of the people in Congress have ever served this county as far as serving in the military. Instead why not impose some kind of health insurance figure on them. They would not mind, they are already over paid for doing nothing. Congress leave the Veterans alone and get out there and really do some work to benefit the people for a CHANGE!! You are a bunch of unsympathic disgusting JERKS!!! Go and get a real life!!!

    • Needless to say they need to be reminded that if not for the veterans
      there would be no freedom in this country.

    • Bren, they are getting a real life. They are taking monies away from OUR system to put in their own systems. Makes it a better life for all the low-down, money-grabbing, low-life parasites who keep their hands out without a working day in their pitiful lives. Washington would rather support these causes than support the great men and women who fought and died for the freedom of each man, woman and child living in America. This makes Washington a bunch of low-life, worthless bunch of hypocrites that ever lived.
      We will have to stand up for our rights, because no one else feels as sorry for as we do. We complain, write letters all to no avail. We need to get up and do something about it ourselves. Like Washington, however no one is doing that except WEST, and we would be happy to join him. LETS GO!!

  249. Wilbur Ruhl says:

    EnteAr tIIext right here!

  250. 70-Year Old Widow says:

    My husband died of a combat-related illness, so eventhough he died many years after his tour in Vietnam, he essentially gave his life for this country. He was proud of his Air Force career and proud that he had earned health care benefits for both of us. I am now a 70-year old widow who will have to pay for the benefits he gave his life for. What is wrong with that picture?

  251. "Means" is another word in Oblahmau's dictionary that really means "re-distribution of wealth. Not filthy rich wealth, the normal savings that an average hard-working middle class citizen would earn and save over a lifetime.

  252. Jack Parsons says:

    It's is time to cut back on forgien aid and stop cutting everyones benifits, not only the military personnel, The money being sent and spent by forgien countries and most of it unacounted for can help keep our benifits, help fund better education, and help the thousand's of our own children that do not get three meals a day and many go to bed hungry. It's also time to stop all the tax loop holes that only benifit the rich. A retired Army Vietnam 3X VET

  253. Lisa, You are revealing too much of the truth. Most people can't take it and their heads would explode. I'm with you on all of it though. It's some bullshit along with a whole bunch of greed that screws it up for everyone other than millionaires.

  254. Bill

    If all of us who make comments here were to contact our Congressmen,as I wiil, maybe they would get the message.

  255. 1SG Martin Montoya says:

    WOW! This is a slap in the face. I served for 28 years and this is how I get paid back. I guess I'll look forward to having my family see doctors who have to take TRI-Care because the doctor is not very good at medicine &$%@#^(*(%!. I get my care at the VA but I also signed up with TRI-Care when I retired to have health care for my family. I guess it won't be such a good benefit anymore. THANKS ALOT!

  256. Joseph Foye says:

    Muslim militarists said, early in this decade , that they would have the White House by 2008; they were partly responsible for Hussein Obama's 2008
    victory. Now it's time to ruin morale among the troops, causing them to quit.
    Show your spirit and work to rid us of that man in the forthcoming election.
    Do everything you can to cause a GOP landslide victory and elect a Romney
    or Santorum; a man who knows there are not 58 states and that America is
    a Christain nation.
    insert

    • You can take your "Muslim" inuendo and stick it where the sun doesn't shine–like down a well or in a mine. Your prejudice doesn't belong here!

  257. Bloodshed says:

    I feel, as a military retiree, that we should pay more for our medical care! Even though we were promised "Free Medical", we still owe it to our brothers and sisters who are risking their lives to help out in any way we can! After all, look what you would have to pay on the private side of retirement or if you lost your job and your benefits. A friend of my wife's pays over $1800/month just to keep Cobra insurance. But ,"Pinyata", needs to get real! Base his tier on the number of years served, not on rank! Also, he needs to look at his and his coworkers benefits for a good cut! By coworkers, I mean the rest of the political butt-heads in the government! I know, let's get some people in office who really care about America and not their wallets!

    • Part 1 of My response to 'Bloodshed'
      Dear BrainDead/Bloodshed: You agree that we were promised "free medical', then you turn around and say we "owe it to our brothers and sisters …to help out in any way we can" – Huh? WE are "our brothers and sisters!" We owe it to OURSELVES, after honorably serving on low pay and in sh… holes around the world and at sea, away from families,l and, based on false promises; we owe it to ourselves to FIGHT for our medical benefits.

    • Part 2 of my response to Bloodshed (had to split it up to fit):
      BrainDead: If your friend's wife had been in the military, she would have the same benefits!! Folks choose – we don't OWE them anything! Now tell me, bonehead, why we should pay more for our medical care? Why will this help those wonderful civilian brothers and sisters? Tell me why you are willing to role over for the politicians and our fine politically correct military leadership. I don't see them saying THEIR pay/allowances/medical benefits should be cut.

    • Part 3 of my response to Bloodshed:
      Braindead:So, Bonehead, if you really really really want to give up YOUR medical benefits – go pay for it in the civilian world – just don't tell us WE should join you! I served over 20 years and earned my benefits, only to watch your liberal politicians start taking them away. So tell me brain-dead, how were we supposed to have prepared for the benefit rug to be pulled out from under us? When were we supposed to know that we were lied to all along and that even the "free medical change to "pay for it but at a 'nominal rate' medical" would be just another lie? When should I have gotten more jobs to pay for the benefits that I had been promised for free for me and my wife when I joined 45 years ago? Now, we're retired and on fixed incomes, and you, brainless, want us to pay more and fix the problem for our poor civilian friends?! – those same folks who could have joined up and served for over 20 years! Next, you'll tell me I should go ahead and kill myself to make way for those 'wonderful brothers and sisters'? Okay… I'm done! (Damn, but you and your ilk piss me off!)

    • I'm glad you want to pay more for try care, but I can't afford it. I spent 24 years because my country said that they would, in return provide my retirement with medical. Since my wife also suffers from chrionic disease, we will not get or pay most of my pay for health insurance. I don't have faith in Obama care. Also I lost my job and trying to make ends meet with a part time job.

    • glad i'm retired says:

      go ahead and pay more – hell pay my share. if they had hit everyone else including politician's pay and benefits, I think you'd hear some sympathy from vets and AD.

      this was a bargain between the USG and the soldier. we did our part and I refuse to let some dumb xss try and make me feel bad about this.

      people don't work for free. people get the best employment deal possible. that's what we did.

      enough chit chat and moralizing – PAY UP

    • Why should I pay more when the issue is that they keep including more and more people in TRICARE causing the costs to go up. Once something is passed Congress cannot leave it along so that the costs will remain the same. I was promised free medical care and have paid for health insurance to assist but why should I be forced to pay due to Congress's stupidy.

  258. Rob (SFC Ret) says:

    Obama and his cronies spend us into oblivion, speak highly of us when its in his and thier best intrest and then stabs us in the back! We the military are the one's that give all for our country, to include dying, and the thanks we get is broken promises and notification that we will be absorbing all the cuts necessary to fix thier financial mess! Whens the last pay cut or health care increase anyone in the Congress or Senate and thier staff's received ? Never ! They get the best of everything while we pay up the ass ! Your best weapon is to vote these people out of office ! They should all resign and we start from scratch ! Sometimes i question who are real enemy is ! After 22+ years in the military there aren't many promises made on day one that they haven't broken, or are in the process of breaking ! The military shoud be the last place expected to take any cuts!!

  259. Bloodshed says:

    I just wanted to say one more thing about Tricare! As a disabled Vet, I have it very good as far as medical benefits! Yes, there are things that can be done to improve care but let's ourselves be real! This country is in trouble and if we don't try to help by paying more for our benefits and paying more taxes, where does that get us? I feel that then we just add to the problem! Let's be proactive rather then reactive! As Vets, let's set the example for the nation, let's try to find solutions! I have some ideas and I know there are others out there who have great ideas! Let's put our heads together and come up with ways to contribute not sit back and bitch all the time! Enough said!

  260. I bled for this country….Do not destroy future generations willing to do the same.. A Marine grunt

  261. USAF & CSRS Ret says:

    With regrets for the misleading data available to and believed by both military recipients and civilians in sympathy with, and also used to criticize us. Way back in 1988, several of us in DC at the time, and connected with the USSAH (now with a name change) pushed through the Congress a Bill that granted Tricare for Life, to become Second Payer for all Retired Military personnel, regardless of the number of years served on Active Duty, providing they were physically or mentally "damaged" so as to be eligible for Social Security Disability. And to qualify for this SSD, a person had to be "unable to earn a livelihood". Also, there was a number of about 5, 6 or 7 "conditions" (the exact number escapes me at this time) that also made the applicant automatically eligible for the SSD. And then to have the TFL as the secondary coverage, they then have 100% Medical Coverage without a need for the VA and without a need for "pre-authorizations" and no need to pay co-pays or to pay for any "premiums" other than the Part A and B out of their Social Security check monthly. As a result of passage of this Law, some 200 Career Veterans living at the "Old Soldiers and Airmens" Home in Washington Dc,. at the time, were able to check out and return to their home and families.
    That Mrs. Armstrong had to leave her abundantly paid career for her husband and her family is commendable, but in years past, few wives were able to work anyway while the husband was in the Active Duty and providing for his family. The benefits for a 100% Veteran today, with 100% Va Compensation, Military Retired Pay for Disability, and Social Security Disability Payments, make for a very comforting income by any means test. And then add to it some of the remarkable benefits being made for veterans from the dozens of 501(c)3 organization like "Warriors" and others, there is more than enough available today but there is also a lot of information need for families, that is lacking. I would truly suggest that Mrs Armstrong visit the SS Office now, and get the ball rolling for her husband as her remarks certainly should dictate his need and perhaps a very fast approval, with some chance of retroactive eligibility. Good Luck,,,,(and thanks to Mrs. Smith, wife of Marine LtCol Smith for assisting me in getting Senator McCain to introduce the legislation that was fought so heavily by the Army Surgeon Generals Office….but overcome that and it did make passage to Law).

    • Navy Wife and Mom says:

      I beg to differ on a couple of comments. My husband was medically retired service connected Desert Storm veteran just a few months shy of 10 years in the Navy, career sailor at that who had just re-enlisted a year and a half before medical retirement. Yes we pay for Tricare Prime as required to maintain our eligibility to use the military treatment facilities. Yes we pay for Medicare part B now that social security went through. Yes my husband receives both social security and veterans administration compensation. However because he did not complete his 20 years he is ineligible for his retirement pay (concurrent pay). My family is fortunate to have the Tricare program for health care when we can find providers to treat us. The dental coverage is horrible at best and covers the same amount we pay in per year. We have no eye coverage and with children, it is necessary. I am unable to maintain full time employment of any kind because I am a full time care giver for my 46 year old husband. I travel more than 30,000 miles per year for his health care. Granted he has very few copays because the duel insurance covers most costs, however I do not have auto repairs, maintenance or gasoline reimbursed to obtain his care which is not always available in the VA system.

      I have aided many disabled veteran families in obtaining disability compensation (via a significant number of volunteer hours that I can work while on the road driving to the many appointments with my husband or on the phone/email while at home with my husband). These families do not have the benefit of Tricare because of the disability being determined after the end of enlistment/commission. These families may have VA and SS disability for the veteran, however their spouse has standard Tricare and their children ~ HAVE NOTHING! Not one dime of coverage or compensation for the children of disabled veterans who are not medically retired.

      So please do not stand on the premise that the disabled veteran population live lush lives, I assure you this is not even close to the facts. I beg you to spend many of days in a VA facility asking questions of spouses and children and care givers who are suffering needlessly because there isn't enough income to go around. Veteran families are suffering unless they are of the current war OIF/OEF who get caregiver benefits and compensation for being a care giver plus benefits for the families overall.

      A great way to reduce some costs would be to approve SS and VA at one time instead of separate ratings and extended appointments and review boards that are unnecessary and redundant at best.

      • USAF & CSRS Ret says:

        Indeed Mrs Navy Wife and Mom….i do not see where we differ. Just a different use of words. I have carefully read your words and am glad to hear when someone speaks or guides others, from a position of knowing what they are talking about. You have it right…and others are ortunate to have you volunteering help to guide others.

        I am retired from active duty for length of service and then spent 18 years as Administrator of a government facility that was a "SOA" Seperate Operating Agency as we did not use appropriate funds, but rather operated out of a Permanent Trust Fund. During my time working in the Civil Service, my son entered the Navy and after only 3 and a half years, came home courtesy of USAF Medical Evac, and spent a year in Bethesda Navy Hospital and then after a couple of years on the TDRL he was finally Disability Retired, Permanent, and transferred to the VA Hospital in DC.
        I certainly agree that the military and the VA should coordinate their evaluations and ratings, as my son was rated 100 % Disabled by the Navy Board, but 50 % disabled by the VA Evaluation Board. Upon appeal to the VA, I apologized that my son could not be present as he was in a VA Hospital bed, the same one for several years, and that was a fairly good reason for not being there, as well as justifying the 100% rating issued by the Navy. VA folks gave the 100% at that time, and made it permanent,. My son was treated like royalty in the Medical end of the VA but the Administrative end of things has been using Royal Portable typewriters and rubber time stamps and was horrible to deal with for about 5 years.

        But that is all in the past. The ratings and paperwork was horrible but the Medical Care was of the highest quality. His most recent operation was to go back in and remove part of a lung, and once again, he was treated in the most outstanding manner. I applaud the VA manner of giving medical care, once you are "in the system". My son has been released from the Hospital, but goes there several times each week to work as a volunteer when he is able to do so. He copes quite well but has lost many years of his life to the treatment periods, several years at a time.

        With the Social Security, one must apply for that immediately as it does not tie in with the VA or Military Evaluations. But, once a Retiree is granted SSD, then Tricare for Life TFL automatically kicks in for secondary coverage, and that includes Prescription Meds. Once granted eligibility for SS, the retire must insure they chose both…Parts A and B….immediately, or there will be a 10% increase cost if chosen later. Once the retiree has the SSD and the TFL and the VA Compensation, life does get better but the glitch is that the wife and family members are not cared for by TFL until the wife turns age 65 and gets Social Security. Until then, they must cope with the Tricare (of their choice). I cannot address Dental or Eye care as we have never found the insurance for either to be cost effective so we go "out of pocket" on them.

        Lastly, you do sound most efficient and effective and very capable of directing others into receiving proper benefits. I have always found in my business of helping people, that the ones most in need, are the ones least able to go get things for themselves. And the least able to understand the bureauracy that they must be caught up in to receive their care and benefits. I truly wish you….and the other military wives that are struggling with "the system" while at the same time they are caring for a Disabled Veteran. Stay strong. USAF (Ret) and CSRS (Ret)…..

    • Senator who?

  262. It all goes back to CLINTON who fostered disrespect for the military its veterans and retirees. He was the ultimate draft dodger who along with __his power hungry wife took advantage of all this country had to offer and __gave nothing in return. What a joke he became commander in chief of the__armed foces and his wife became sect of state,well I hope he is__satisfied along with anot cantidates . So go MR PANETTA balance the budget on the backs of TRICARE recipients you should all be very ashamed of what your planning to do .you think we are stupid i was born at night but not last nite_

  263. I am a 67 year old viet nam disabled vet . Out side of Jimmy Carter .I suffered more under the GOP leadership than the dems .P resident Obama did more for funding the VA than any GOP president.

  264. Lawrence Ekdahl says:

    Any military man or woman who votes for this government isnuts.

  265. hondamonster says:

    Figures that our government would take away another benefit from it's military retirees. We who have given something for those who sat at home and only hated what we were doing. Being a Vietnam veteran, I still remember what we were told when we came back home from Vietnam, "Don't wear your uniforms, people back home will not like you if you do!" Being a gullable servicemember and believing what our leaders said was gospel, I did what I was told. Now over 20 years later I still fill the hate by that and feel like no one really cares for servicemembers. When I joined the military in 1970, retirees recieve dental and vision. Now that is gone and they want to take our health plans away. Here comes the big green weenie again and we are getting screwed again.

  266. We wouldn't be in this position if more of the population paid taxes and not just 40%. I would say, you do not receive back more taxes then you paid in. It doesn't seem fair if I pay in $8000 in taxes and only get back $2000, why should someone who pays the same amount but get back $8000 or more.

  267. BOHICKA